It was twenty-four years ago today that we said, “I do.”
An overcast, slightly drizzly day, filled with the colors of baby-blue bridesmaid dresses, bow ties, and cummerbunds; the gold church pews; the white reception tents on the green grass outside the brick church building. The faces were those of grandparents now passed on to heaven, dad conducting our ceremony, mom as mistress of ceremonies, brothers, sisters, extended family, friends, dear ladies of the church presiding at our reception.
The scene changes to that first two-bedroom townhouse apartment nearly devoid of furniture, first blue two-door Honda hatchback, first jobs, first fights. We navigated the hills and valleys of married life, from your serious illness to the loss of our baby, job changes to the joys of children born strong and healthy, a move to North Carolina and back.
All that has brought us to what is. You and I, parents of a teen and tween, navigating new waters nearly every week. We’re not as fit as we used to be, our bodies speaking in occasional creaks and groans, responding more slowly than in those “what was” years. The wrinkles and laugh lines have appeared, the hair color has changed, the eyesight’s not what it once was. The outside of our love may look different, but the inside love has grown and flourished and strengthened over the years.
God willing, that love will carry us through what is to come. In my mind’s eye, I see the excitement of high school graduation and college days for our daughters, their weddings, our grandchildren. I feel you holding my hand through difficult partings, physical failings, and life’s ever unexpected moments.
My prayer for what is to come goes something like this.
Dear God, Grow us ever into Your image. May the love we share be an example to our children and a blessing to others because it comes from You. Knit our hearts even more tightly together. Give us the grace to face what the coming years bring and the strength to carry out your perfect will for us as a couple. Thank you for the home You began twenty-four years ago, and may we glorify You through whatever the future holds.
Happy anniversary, my dear sweetheart!