Six years ago today, I donned an ivory satin wedding dress–the most amazing dress I’ve ever owned–slapped on a garter, and making sure I had my something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue: walked down the aisle to marry my best friend.
It was a modest ceremony–small, candlelit, and held in the sanctuary of my home church. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family. I remember turning to him to say my vows, expecting that I’d be a weepy mess. Indeed, I had a freshly monogrammed handkerchief clutched in my hand, just in case. But instead, when my eyes met his, I knew I wasn’t going to cry. I wasn’t going to weep delicate bridal tears. Everything in me rushed forward to this man, every particle of my self wanted to be with him, this was not a sad moment, or a bittersweet moment, or a moment that was so happyfying that I had to cry. It was simply the proudest, best, most certain moment of my life and I spoke my vows loudly and clearly, beaming up at him, trying to tell him with my eyes that there was not one particle of doubt or hesitation or wondering on my part.
When I look at our wedding album, and see how young we looked…how much more hair M had…the innocence on our faces…it seems odd. We were looking out at our future like bridal couples do: certain that their happily ever after is just waiting around the corner. Those two people in the glorious clothing had no inkling of the things they’d have to face in their lives together, or the forces that would conspire to tear them apart. They had no foreshadowing of the silly arguments, the misunderstandings, or the amount of WORK that being married would entail.
But on this side of the picture album, I sit. In my jeans and sweater, I turn the pages and look at the young woman in her satin dress and her guazy veil, her blond hair ringleted within an inch of it’s life, and I can barely remember her. I marvel that we thought, on that day, that we knew one another as completely as we ever could. We couldn’t imagine that we could ever be closer than we were that day. On this side of the picture album, I know intimately just how much this marriage has cost us, and how much it has given us. I know exactly how much work it has been, and based on past experience have a fairly good estimation of how much work it will be in the future. I know that fights happen, and they’re almost always over something stupid and SO not worth fighting over. I know that sometimes: they’re not over something stupid, and they are 100% worth fighting over.
On this side of the picture album, I look at my husband, sprawled on the couch eating leftover pizza and watching “Judge Mathis” on the television. He has less hair and more belly than he did on our wedding day. I have the same amount of hair and stretch marks on my belly. We’ve been through so much together…I wasn’t sure we’d survive all of it. But we have. On this side of the picture album, we’re a far cry from the people we were six years ago today. But I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.
When we first met, a friend of ours told me that she thought it was absolute bullshit that people love each other more everyday. She was of the opinion that love is finite, that you can love someone alot, but that there is a limit. She is wrong. This is a man who knows me better than myself, who loves me without question or reserve. He has seen me poop on a table and heard me scream while giving birth and is still able to tell me I’m the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen and mean it. We have laughed together and cried together. We’ve shouted at each other, and we’ve shouted at others on behalf of our beloved. He is “simply my best time, my sweetest laughter”. The love we have is too big to be measured or quantified. Because of him, bad times aren’t so bleak and good times are all the sweeter. With him, I have come to the wonderful understanding of the biblical concept of One Fleshedness. When I am apart from him, part of me is gone, also. Where ever he is, is where I want to be.
What we have struggled for, built, dreamed of, and fought for is so much more than I ever imagined marriage would be. It is our sanctuary when the world gets to be too much; our tent of celebration into which we welcome our beloved ones. It is the best thing in my life.
Come what may, Babe.