CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of couples celebrated 50 years of marriage Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral.
Half a century. It is an entire lifetime and for the approximately 300 couples celebrating their golden anniversary, marking 50 years filled with children and grandchildren, joy and laughter, sadness and pain.
While their hands may not be as smooth as they were in 1972, they are still joined together for better and for worse.
"I came here I was 20 years old. I met this guy and we'd known each other for only two weeks," said Barbara Didiw
"That's it," added her husband, Walter Didiw.
Renewing their vows to each other during a highly emotional service, couples from all over the Chicago area were joined by their families during this very special celebration.
"It was very emotional," said Carl Meyer. "Hadn't thought about coming here, but when you're in there and you start thinking 50 years gone by and all the experiences together."
"We brought my parents here when they celebrated their 50th. I always remember that and now we're there, which is hard to believe," added Joyce Meyer.
In an era where it seems not many are willing to put in the hard work that leads to a 50th wedding anniversary, these couples shared some of their secrets. Both serious and not so serious.
"Never go to bed angry," said Jim Mclemore when asked what's his secret.
"My father-in-law said when I got married that we may not be lucky at cards but we're always lucky in love because Mclemore means son of love," Pat Mclemore added.
"Negative or positive, you have to communicate. You can't read each other's minds. You have to communicate," said Anthony and Cynthia Morales. "It's a journey and you have to fight it, ups and downs, you've just got to fight. That's all."
"A sense of humor is very important," said Adrienne Micheli.
"I learned one thing: She's always right," added Dino Micheli.
In his homily, Cardinal Blase Cupich put it this way using a baseball analogy to honor these couples for sharing over 18,000 days with each other.
"Two thousand, six hundred and thirty two. Those are the number of games Cal Ripken Jr. played in a consecutive row," the cardinal said.