Happily Ever After (the real kind)

Today is our 9th anniversary.

Nine years ago in the aftermath of a super typhoon, we said the eternal vows ::

to have and to hold … for better or for worse … for richer or for poorer … in sickness or in health … to love and to cherish

The traditional vows have stood the test of time because they truly are the formula of a marriage.

There is lots of better, but there is also some worse.  There has been richer and there is poorer.  There is sickness, there is health.

There is having and holding, loving and cherishing.  These all inherently come with joy, but also with enormous responsibility, a large margin for error, and the dawning realization that joy can be unbearably painful.

If you’re looking for Happily Ever After, this is it.  The real kind. 

Children, I want to say to our small flock, this it what it looks like. 

Cinderella works hard.  The Prince works hard. Both do dishes.  Every day.

Sometimes people cry.  Sometimes people are angry.  And it’s OK.  Good, even.

It is possible to be both one and separate (and they are equally important).

Here kindness rules over irritation.  Here grace overlooks mistakes.

Great hopes and great fears live in tension, both increasing with the passage of time.

Love is safe and secure, but it also stretches and challenges you to develop into the self you were created to be.

There is no arrival, only the day to day details that somehow turn into swiftly passing years.

Love in a committed relationship is something that must be worked out with fear and trembling, with courage and abandon.

………………………………………………………

I’m at a loss every year on our anniversary.  What to say, how to celebrate, what to give.  I cannot find anything worthy enough to acknowledge the life-altering wonder that is our marriage.

What can I do but to say, I receive your love as grace and return it as love.

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3 thoughts on “Happily Ever After (the real kind)

  1. Congratulations on 9 years!!

    Reading your thoughts always reminds me of a book I read in college called “Soul Mates”. It stirred my heart and rang of truth but I could never quite realize it in my own life. What is your source of serenity, perspective, and wisdom? I want to live in the world you describe. 🙂

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