This past Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage! I posted this picture and description to my Instagram account:
“Joyful. Beautiful. And sometimes a glorious blur. That’s what the past 8 years have been with the love of my life!”
It has been an amazing whirlwind. We’ve had three kids and moved states and houses in those eight years. Some years we’ve celebrated with dinners out or overnight trips. Our first anniversary was celebrated amidst moving boxes. This year our family of 5 took a long overdue vacation. We decided that on our very special day we wanted to creatively walk down memory lane and take our children along.
On our wedding day we released monarch butterflies instead of blowing bubbles or throwing birdseed, so we started with a trip to the Butterfly Palace to look at beautiful exotic butterflies.
Then we went to Pasghetti’s, an Italian Restaurant, because we honeymooned in Rome.
Finally we returned to our vacation rental to watch our wedding video. The kids were mesmerized. They would ask questions about who this person was or where was so n so. My eldest asked if I still had my dress and if I would wear it someday. I answered “Someday” (I need to lose a few pounds!)
As we sat and watched this retelling of our marriage journey now 8 years in, I was struck by the story-lines I witnessed and how much life for us and others had changed!
An image of me dancing with my father now gone 5 years.
A family of 4 now a family of 7.
A married couple now divorced.
Toddler cousins now teens.
A mother now a cancer survivor.
An eternal bachelor now married.
Infertility and miscarriage.
Foster care and adoption.
Life and death.
Hope and worry.
Weddings bring many many different people together. They enter a room with company they would never know otherwise. For a brief moment, there is joy and hope and bliss; the “in sickness and in health; for richer or poorer” parts of the wedding vows seem more a tradition of words than a covenant of actions.
But when the “you may kiss your bride” has faded and the butterflies have been released…when the wedding dress has been stored and the tuxedo rental returned…when the dj packs up his music and the pastor goes home…when the honeymoon is a distant memory…life continues. It begins really. As it does, with all it’s rough “life happens” edges, we must choose to see the beautiful in spite of the ugly. We must choose to love deeply although the shallows feel safer. We must fight for each other when we’d rather walk away or even worse ignore. We must dig deep.
Life is beautiful. It is lovely on days worth celebrating and on days we’d rather forget. Through the mundane and the breathtaking, sucking the very marrow out of every moment really is worth it.
My brother and his beautiful wife wrote and sang this song for our wedding.
Our journey together starts today.
I’ll take you as mine together for a lifetime.
I give you my heart.
I give you my vow.
I give you my life right here and now.
This is our journey.
May your journey be worth traveling and may you never ever give up.
Life is beautiful.