I couldn't think of a catchy title for this post, so this is what you get. 5 years ago on June 18th at 5pm, I married my best friend. We were married in my grandparent's church, which I always thought was so beautiful. I loved the tall windows with shutters and large white steeple. I loved the two sets of double doors that looked so welcoming. We had our reception at the Charlotte Museum of History. Such loving family and friends helped with decorations, candles, and flowers. I loved the cake with its different patterns for each layer; we had our monogram (ASP) on the third layer. The bridesmaid's flowers were just what I had envisioned, and I loved my blue hydrangeas with white flowers that had little pearls in the center. So unique, and definitely an "Anna" thing. My dad sang "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" as the wedding party entered, and my Uncle Earl played "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" when my dad and I entered. My dress was simple but elegant; I would have chosen it a million times over again. It was the third dress I had tried on, and my mom had actually picked it out for me. On the rack, it didn't have a special glow to it. When I put it on, I knew it was the one. I'd love to put it on and prance around the house!
Despite all this, it is not about the wedding, the cake, the matching flowers, or the tuxes that weren't my favorite but Patrick insisted on....
It is about the life that starts the minute you say "I do". To paraphrase, we promised to love no matter what. We must love even when a new TV is dropped and wedged in a doorway the first week of marriage, when horrid kidney stones result in an ED visit and wreck on the way home from the ED, when football seems to be tearing your husband away all the time, when your new dog fingerpaints with his poopy every single day, when you realize you spent more than you earned for the month, when you and your parents don't see eye to eye, when your ac goes out and you spend the night in a scary hotel, when you take the leap of becoming homeowners, when your roof loses shingles and you need a new one, when your refrigerator breaks a week later, when one spouse is hormonally challenged because of pregnancy, when grad school is undertaken while working a full-time job, when you realize you will be parents yourselves and you are scared out of your mind, when 8 weeks into your pregnancy you think you may lose your baby, when your friends do experience the loss of their child and you are forever changed, when your child is born but can't leave the hospital when you can, when financial decisions are not agreed upon and causes strife, when jobs come and go, when finances seem to dwindle, when life happens.
The two become one, and it is no longer "mine" but "ours". Our struggles, our triumphs, our sorrows, our joys. It is a choice to love no matter what.
When the valleys come, I will remember that day at 5 o'clock, when I promised to love no matter what.
Love always hopes, always trusts, always perseveres.