Eight years ago today, a blond girl and blue-eyed boy stood holding hands in a little church. She was dripping with white, he with black...ivy cascading from chandeliers above them. In front of family and friends, they with nervous, shy smiles committed to the adventure of forever. They said “I do” to the unknowns ahead—the bumps in the road and the catapulted victories of all that the knotted-two-now-one-union brings.
And what a ride it was.
Three homes in two states. Uprooting and nesting again. Two littles with one on the way decorated their home, wherever it was, with great joy. A job lost. Promotions earned. A broken ankle; broken dreams. The boy and the girl laughed so hard at times they could not breathe. In moments, they were so angry with each other they could not speak. Harsh words and unkind shoulders so devastated the other...standing, staring across the room, they wondered if repair was possible, if they could muster the courage to mend.
Many of those who stood alongside them through the years, drifted away, drifted apart, shaking off marriage vows as they went. And the boy and the girl decided to square shoulders and dig heals in a bit more, tethered and tangled. They cried out to the Healer and Love-Giver.
And they were so glad they did.
They had aged, the girl and the boy. They could trace the lines in each other’s faces and hearts. But they chose to choose one another fresh. They chose not to become hardened by the life they had not signed up for, but to let the disappointments, pain, isolation, and joy make them resolute, determined, strong. They discovered that death brought life. That comfort was found when forgiveness was offered to the offender. And that the shelter of being completely known far outweighed the greener grasses that seduced and whispered their names.
Eight years later, Jon, I still do. I still do take you as my husband to have and to hold today and all the days to come, whatever those days may hold.