I wrote on the card I gave Eric this morning: “24 years?! How does that even happen? How does it happen SO FAST?!” I have no answers for this. Here we are, just living our lives like it’s no big deal — making each other laugh, getting irritated about stupid stuff that doesn’t even matter, doing the laundry and making dinner and walking the dogs — and suddenly we’ve been married for 24 years.
At Chelsey and Jon’s wedding reception this weekend, Eric said, “do you think if we could go back to that day and relive it knowing everything was going to work out, we’d have enjoyed it more?” I said, “you didn’t enjoy our wedding?” He laughed and said that wasn’t what he meant, but rather he remembers being 24 and just starting out, anxious about how things were going to go, wondering if it was going to be okay.
This morning I read this great article from Susan Piver, The Truth About Marriage Vows: Five Promises you Can Keep. She talks about the “not knowing” we enter into when we commit to another person. We can’t be sure, we can’t know, but we dive in anyway. She ends the post by saying,
Here’s something else I’ve learned about a relationship: Okay, so it’s not what you think it’s going to be, the feelings are always changing, and you’re going to have to say goodbye someday. But when you find your love, there is something inside that simply and inexplicably says hello to him. Yes to him. Of course to him. Certainly. Obviously it’s you. There is no choice. I do.
I’ve written a lot about us over the past few years. Here are three of my favorite anniversary posts:
When I officiated the wedding of some other friends last year, I said that “marriage isn’t a commitment you make just once. Rather marriage allows you the opportunity to choose that person again and again. This can happen in moments of joy, such as today, looking at your partner and feeling overwhelmed by love, knowing this is your person and you are hers, and choosing to commit publicly and legally to your partnership. This choice also happens in some of the darkest moments, when things are hard. Over the course of a long marriage, there are many opportunities to choose. You commit yourself to this person over and over again.”
Today, 24 years in, I choose Eric again. I can’t help it. He’s my favorite.
The truth of marriage is that it is ‘to death’: someone in the marriage will die, dreams die, sometimes the marriages itself is what dies. I have wondered if young people would marry if a coffin was part of the wedding symbols (something borrowed, something blue, something for the truth that you are embarked on a journey of death)…standing so young, full of idealism, hope, dreams and passion, absolutely in denial that death is the unspoken truth of marriage starting with “I do.”
The expression is often said wrt parenting: the days are long the years are short, I think it is true of partnership/marriage as well. Congratulations for your 24 years together.
This made me think of a quote, and I can’t find it, can’t remember exactly who said it, but it was about how we all have a ticket to ride on an airplane (or boat?) that is guaranteed to crash (or sink?), but so many of us act as if that isn’t the case at all. Susan Piver always says that every relationship will end badly (break-up or death), and isn’t it fascinating that even when that’s true, we do it anyway. ❤
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