It’s our 27th Anniversary. So here’s a love story. Not the gushy kind- but the beautiful kind. The sacrificial kind.
I don’t remember much from 27 years ago- but I definitely remember almost every. single. detail about my wedding day.
I had gone to great lengths to pick the most perfect shade of “rose petal” pink bows. They were all painstakingly tied and hung at the ends of the church pews by my mom, sisters and bridesmaids. I can remember thinking how absolutely perfect it all looked when the church vestibule doors opened. Just a giant pathway of pink and white, leading to the front of the church where my bridesmaids stood, also swathed in that “perfect” shade of pink. And there at the front, stood the most perfect man- looking back at me.
I was wearing a beautiful dress that had been handmade by my mam-maw for my mom on her wedding day. A friend who was an excellent seamstress had fitted it for me and we added a few details to make it more “me”. Just before the doors opened, my aunt straightened my train and fluffed my veil. I took my dads arm and he looked at me so uncharacteristically- with his eyes brimming- and said, “Are you sure about this? I’ll tell ’em all to go home.” I had never been more sure of anything in my life and I replied, “Yeah dad. I’m sure.”
That was the beginning. The Promise.
We were whisked away by horse drawn carriage to celebrate with friends and family. I absolutely could not stop smiling that whole day.
We could have never known at that time, what lay in store for us. Raising 3 children during countless deployments, that held dangers that I wouldn’t learn about until YEARS later. We have been half a world apart for many more anniversaries than we’ve been together. There were overwhelming pressures and changes that came with his work that would knock us down hard. There were times we would disappoint ourselves and there were times we would disappoint each other. Over the years we had to figure out HOW to love each other best. Aside from the kids, aside from our social circles, etc. how to truly put each other first. Thats an amazing thing. It’s a sacrificial thing. It’s a thing far from perfection.
People talk about “the good times and the bad times”, I think it’s more like “the good YEARS and the bad YEARS”. I felt very unprepared for so many things in our marriage. I guess most people do. Our life has not been an easy one- one of “taking the safe path”. Our children didn’t grow up in suburbia with a dad who worked 9 to 5 and coached little league on the weekends. No- it looked nothing like that. We are thankful for family and friends who came along side us over the years and selflessly poured themselves into our children, as they were growing to become the adults that we are so proud of today.
As a family, we have jumped out on chances more times than I can count. Making decisions that EVERYONE questioned. The decisions were never taken lightly. We have always prayed and sought counsel from others, but then – by god, we’ve jumped. As a team. Flying through the air, our arms flailing and dragging the kids behind us. I have absolutely no regrets.
27 years. I love this man.
I love the way he lives life. I love the family we have built together. I love the way he loves us.
I will be forever grateful to our own parents for showing us what marriage looks like. For showing us what it means to sacrifice, to not throw in the towel, to just- go a little farther. The longer we are married the more we realize just how priceless these gifts are. It is infinitely easier to emulate something you have seen than to try to wing it on your own. I am extremely thankful for that and I hope that we’ve given our own children the same gift.
So. 27 years has gone in a blink. There’s been loads more laughter than there have been tears and much more adventure than there have been quiet times. I am beyond excited to see what the next 27 years will bring, because I honestly feel like we are just getting started. I am absolutely thrilled to be standing here beside my best friend.
Until Next time!