I remember when my friends first started marrying off and I thought that that was it. Like a Disney Princess, they sought their happily ever after and they got it. The wedding was the be-all and end-all to life. By the time my husband and I finally married, we had been together for twelve years so the wedding day seemed this end goal that I had been striving for. I joined the ranks of the greats. You know...Cinderella, Aurora, Simba. I was going to live my happily ever after.
To be honest, I never gave much thought to what came after happily ever after. I never gave much thought to the idea that joy in marital life is not at all a destination but a journey. And not just a journey but an odyssey of sorts.
I never realized what it meant when one takes those vows, "For better or for worse...in richer and in poorer." I thought I understood. I believed I knew what the officiants were referring to. But I didn't get it.
I didn't get that those vows are not just referring to enemies threatening our marital joy. Enemies like sickness, money struggles, parenting struggles, life struggles, death. I thought I understood when I vowed to my husband that no enemy would ever threaten my bond to him. But I didn't understand. Not fully.
Because I got married. And I realized....that's not what the vows are referring to. Well, not JUST. Because the vows are also referring to a time when the enemies are within. When it's not Us vs. the World. Those vows are referring to a time when it's You vs. Me. What happens then? When it's not cancer, or the bill collectors, or the in-laws, or the weight gain, or the job that is threatening our joy...but each other?
And THAT is where the true beauty in marriage lies. Because even when the enemy is the person whom you are sleeping next to, when the enemy is the father of your children, when the person threatening your joy is the woman who barely resembles the girl you married so many years ago...when THAT happens and you still choose to honor those vows and still choose a life of marital joy with that person, that is what those vows are about.
And that is why this celebration, that I was so honored to be asked to document at the gorgeous Scotland Run Golf Club, was such a joy to witness. To see these two people who have been through as much as they have, still love each other, look at each other, laugh with each other, sing to each other with such a devotion and tangible adoration after FORTY years since they took those vows; it gave me chills of joy. And not only that, it makes me giggle with excitement to wonder if my husband and I will still be that much in love at our Ruby Anniversary.
Congratulations on this milestone achievement, you two lovebirds!