It was a beautiful fall day. Unfortunately, the hottest day of the month in a Little Brown Church with no air conditioning. We gathered together with our family and close friends. He and Josh were suave in their tuxedos. I know he was hot, but he still smiled. Daughters, his and mine, were radiant in their black dresses and freckled faces. Parents, all four, were sitting together, shoulder to shoulder. Between them, 80 years of marriage.
Sweet music filled the autumn air. A flute solo followed by a guitar and two harmonic voices that intertwined and filled me with joy. Then the sweet single acapella voice lifting up the beautiful words of Amazing Grace, followed by the flowing rhythm of a violin serenading Somewhere Over the Rainbow to us, our family, as we walked down the aisle. God was truly smiling!
We stood together, holding hands, listening, repeating. We also laughed. Looking like the heat might be overwhelming him (or was it my beauty), my brother, our minister, quieting said, “Don’t worry, I know CPR.” We listened to another acapella song, One Hand, One Heart (from West Side Story). Then to put the frosting on the cake, we rang the Bell. The Bell that has been there for decades. The Bell that has bellowed the start of hundreds of marriages. It’s a tradition and we kept the tradition.
Love is not always about finding the right person. It is about creating the right relationship. Blending, balancing, tolerating, forgiving, laughing and loving. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning, but how much love you build till the end. The end being death. Daily you build, layer upon layer. Some days one works harder than the other at being the mason. That's okay, that's part of the balancing act.
Our paths crossed at the perfect moment. Not too soon; not too late. We're right for each other. We blend, we balance. We tolerate and forgive. We laugh and mostly we love. We knew we loved even before we met and we have built upon our love-layers every day.
Not only do I love you with all that I have, but I know that you love me. I know it, I feel it and I wallow in it. You are a gift and I will not take you for granted.
Happy Anniversary! Thank you for loving me and for being you!