My divorce was long, difficult, and messy. We’d discussed finalizing the paperwork, but my ex outright refused to pay his half. “I’m Catholic. I don’t believe in divorce.”
Yeah. Catholic. Right.
Anyway – everything was done except for the decree. I didn’t have the piece of paper that said I was completely and wholly apart from the man that I had married.
I wasn’t worried about it though. Because I didn’t plan on ever getting married again. Ever.
So when I started dating my husband, I was really just out to have fun. He was a guy a knew at work (ok, at one time he was my boss…) – who was really smart, and funny, and flirty – and kind of sexy. I was the one who made the first move. He was getting out of a bad relationship as well. It took a long spell of flirting before he finally asked me for a date. Months and months. I’d almost given up. And suddenly, he agreed.
We went on our first date late one night when I didn’t have the kids. We went out, had a lot of wine…and the truth of it is…we haven’t really been apart much since that first date.
We discussed getting married the weekend before the car accident. He brought it up. We went away for a dirty weekend after dating for two months and he said the word. And much to my surprise – I agreed. Without a moment’s hesitation.
The car accident should have thrown a wrench into the whole works. I had it two days before he was to take a two week trip to visit his sister in Europe for Christmas. He was really torn – he wanted to stay and take care of me. I told him to go. I knew I’d be in the hospital for a while. And there was nothing he could do for me that I couldn’t get done for myself. He flew out the day of my surgery. With great apprehension. But he knew I would be mad at him for missing out on the opportunity to see his sister. Especially when I wasn’t very good company anyway.
The two weeks apart was a chance for us to really understand how much we meant to each other. We talked every day. We had video chats when I got home. We made it through Christmas – and on New Years Eve 2011, I had a very kind friend drive me out to the hotel at the airport. We rang in the new year – our new year – together. We agreed that night that he would give up his apartment and move in – and we’d marry in three months time.
The only stitch was – I didn’t have have the paperwork done. And, as it turned out, it took another eleven full months to get it completed.
But we went ahead anyway. We had an intimate ceremony with our very close family and friends at a local restaurant in an old historic building. It was important to both of us that the children were involved in the ceremony. They walked me down the aisle and stood by us as we said our vows. Mine to him, and his to us.
And although there wasn’t a “paper” to say that we were bound to each other – we were. Wholly and completely from that day forward. On that day, I changed my name and became his wife – as surely as he became my husband. I didn’t need a paper to say that any more than I needed a paper to say that I was no longer married to my ex husband.
We did, eventually, finish the “paperwork” and get our marriage solemnized – but the anniversary we celebrate, the one we recognize – is the first one.
These were (and are) my vows:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow, I pledge myself to you.I am thankful for all the experiences I had before I met you, as thankful as I am for all your experiences before I came along.
I am very thankful for the last three years, as I’ve come to know you. I’ve learned that life is never easy, but it can feel that way with the right person. I’ve learned that I am strong and smart. I’ve learned that I am a good mother. It took me a while, but the time I’ve spent with you has taught me that I am a good wife, lover, and friend. Because of you, who I am now is who I always wanted to be.And I’ve also now come to learn similar things about you. You are so strong and so smart and so reliable. You are a wonderful father. You are an amazing lover, a faithful friend, and a loving husband.
Today, I pledge my love and life to you. I have a few more things to promise. I will sleep on the right if you promise to always be on my left…and…I will always kiss you goodnight.
Darling, I will love you forever. I will be the joy of your heart, and I will be the food of your soul. I promise to wash away your tears with my kisses. My affection for you will know no bounds.
I can’t promise that the road will always be straight, or that it will never rain. However, I can promise that whatever tomorrow brings, I will walk right down that road…raining or not…holding your hand on my right and an umbrella over our heads with the left. I may not be able to stop the downpour, but I will always, always join you for a walk in the rain.
I look forward with great joy and without reservation to spending the rest of my life with you, being there for you in all life has in store for us and our family for the rest of our lives.
|Image Credit: (Edited) “Umbrella and Blue Sky” by foto76 / freedigitalphotos.net