Last night C and I sat together on the couch and watched our wedding video together. Actually, we sat down with the intention of just watching the homily. You see, on the day of our actual wedding, we were far too excited and wrapped up in the moment to actually hear what our priest was saying. Years later, guests from our wedding still mention our homily to us and I felt like we were missing something important…. and for some reason last night felt like the right time for us to finally hear it.
You see, I can easily paint a rosy picture through pictures of our beautiful children and short stories about the fun things we do… but the truth is that it isn’t always rosy. We’ve had a pretty crazy ride since the second he slipped that ring on my finger, and the last six years have have given us some really unexpected bumps along the way. Some that have brought us closer together in ways I never imagined possible, and some that have knocked us completely off the road, into the ditch, rolled in the dirt… where we’ve had to lay there for a while to make sure we were okay and plan our next moves before we even tried to get up. Marriage is HARD.
So last night, we sat curled up on our couch in our sweats on a Friday night with our three little people sleeping quietly upstairs, we watched our-fancy-selves, all dressed up and kneeling before God in front of our family and friends… and finally we listened. As I heard our priest’s advice about marriage, and let it sink in, it made SO much more sense to me now than it would have on that beautiful happy day when we were filled with only shiny love and hope. He talked about many things, but the one that stuck with me so deeply was his revelation that marriage is never 50/50… and if you’re constantly trying to make it that way, then you will become a glorified accountant. At the end of the day, a marriage works when both people believe that you give 100% day in and day out, even when it’s hard… and it can’t be about keeping score, because at the end of the day you’re in this because you’re choosing to say, my life is better because I’m going to share it with you. We let his words wash over us, and we glanced over at each other more than once with that half smile of understanding.
After the homily, we let the video play and I watched C and I stand there and say our vows – so shimmering and full of promise, staring into each other’s eyes like we were the only two people in the world. Facing each other with our hands held together, and I noticed that as C said his vows, I rubbed the back of his hand with my thumb in a gesture of reassurance and love. At that very moment, tears slipped down my face as I realized that’s something I do often without realizing it… it’s my way of saying everything from – I love you, to everything is going to be okay, to yes – these kids are driving.me.freaking.bananas.too but we’re in this together.
There I was on our wedding day, having no clue of the road we were about to embark on when he slipped that sparkly beautiful ring on my finger… but I did know one thing, I knew that C and I were making the choice to say “my life will be better with you by my side”. Years later that has taken on such a vastly deeper meaning, but is truer than I ever could have guessed it would be. Though our ride has been full of bumps and twists and turns, I still find myself reaching across the car to find his hand and absentmindedly rub the back of it with my thumb as we travel along together. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a reminder of all the love and hope that brought us here.
photo credit: Brian Harte