5.16.2007

Forever

It's Pink and Chocolate Day! (Cute wedding picture at that link - you really ought to go...) One of the best things about my wedding day, besides the cake (also at that link), was the photographer we hired for the day. (If I was really good I would get digital copies of all the negatives so I could post a wedding pic or two, but that is beyond me right now...)

He did journalist-style photography, mostly candid shots, starting in the morning with my getting ready, then David and I walking down the street together, then riding the Trax a block to the temple. (The Trax was a sentimental thing to me - it's the kind of public transport we rode on our mission in Ukraine...)

It was fun to have someone snapping pictures the whole way, capturing all our impromptu kisses and pretty much every moment and every guest who shared our day. What I got the biggest kick out of was the people on the street, as we walked with a photographer following us, whispering to one another, "Who are they?" I'm sure they were feeling really uncool, not recognizing the celebrities before them.

I really did feel like a bit of a celebrity that day, beautiful and (finally) marrying the man I love, feeling a true sense of beginning and celebration and hope.

When I was in college, a friend of mine once said that the thing she wanted most in a relationship was to really know someone and to really be known. I've thought about that a lot in the six years I've been married and more than once realized with a profound sense of gratitude that somehow I came out with a relationship just like that.

It isn't to say that I know everything about David or he about me, or that we even understand each other's needs or wants completely on a daily basis, but if there was ever a person who really "gets" me, or who has a perfect desire to understand and love me, it's him.

I learned early on that it is a mistake to assume that someone doesn't really love you if they can't read your mind, and I love the level of communication David and I enjoy. Sometimes knowing that all I have to do is say something, and David will hear it and act on it - or else tell me I'm out of line (which is needed sometimes!) - is even sweeter than if he was wearing himself out guessing at my happiness because I was too stubborn to communicate.

I read an article in the doctor's office just yesterday about a woman who kept a list in a notebook for the twenty years of her married life of all the thoughtful things her husband did, the tender moments that she wanted to savor always, the things she called "their sweet little life together." Very few of the items are huge gifts or momentous occasions - they were just times that she loved and savored sharing with the man she loved.

As it turns out, her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and died at a relatively young age. She made a comment that her notebook didn't represent their complete life together, the conflicts or heartaches that happen in every marriage, but she treasured her list because any one item could take her back to the moment and she could have them all back with him.

In fact, she even had one item on the list that happened after his death - On her 60th birthday celebration as she was seated at dinner, the doorbell rang and it was a delivery of a huge birthday bouquet with a note from her husband that said, "Happy birthday with undying love..." As he lay dying the spring before, he had asked one of his daughters to remember to send it for him.

David and I have been married for only six years, but if I kept such a list, it would be full of tenderness and respect and thoughtfulness. There is nothing luxurious or exceptional about our life, we have our little boys, one car and still rent until we can tackle the housing market, and we can't afford extreme vacations.

But we hold hands. He listens to me. We jealously guard our evening and weekend time together as a family. We go to church together and talk too late into the night sometimes about things we care about - trading off between his passion for world affairs and mine for the affairs of our household.

And I love the way he knows me and loves me.

One of my favorite memories of David's unselfish regard for things I care about happened in our first year of marriage. I was four months pregnant, had just come out of nausea-ville, and was coordinating a wedding reception for my best friend. Totally my cup of tea, loved making all the arrangements and seeing it come together, but after the work-intensive day of setting up and putting things in place, and stressing about everything being perfect, I was so tired and my back ached. I bustled around for a while, but then just needed to sit.

Every time I felt that I was slacking or needed to check on something, or had forgotten to do this or that, I would look up from where I was sitting to see David doing exactly what needed to be done - refilling the punch bowl, adding another cake to the dessert table, emptying the overflowing trash can.

To me it was miraculous that someone would do that for someone else, for me, no less. I remember sitting there thinking he was one in a million - he has little or no interest in the aesthetics of wedding receptions, but he had enough interest and concern for me that he just took up where I left off so I could rest and enjoy my friend's wedding day.

To me, it's things like that - just being aware of the other - that make a marriage work. David makes me feel treasured and, perhaps more importantly, considered, every day of my life. For that and a million other little moments and loving actions and just for being who he is, I still feel like a celebrity being followed with a camera down the street, kissing my husband (only now being trailed by two rowdy little boys). I still feel the sense of beginning and hope, and I celebrate every one of the six years before today, and all the years for the rest of forever with him.

Love you, Bubba.

9 comments:

Angela said...

Oh oh oh! You did get one in a million! And so did he. Picking up where you were leaving off is a perfect match---what a gem!

By the way, I LOVED your photographer, he had the best personality and he took great pictures.

This is a beautifully written post. Happy Anniversary!

Liz said...

Happy Anniversary!!! the feeling I got from that post was that you are content in your marriage, and I love that.

Morning Glory said...

I think this is one of the most beautiful things ever written. I re-read your "Pink and Chocolate Day" post, too, and you have captured it all so wonderfully.

You said, "he just took up where I left off". Isn't that just the perfect solution to having a happy marriage? We just pick up where each other needs it. All the things you just wrote echo my feelings and thoughts after nearly 37 years of marriage!

Happy, happy anniversary!!

S said...

I LOVE the journal idea! I think I will steal that one. Happy anniversary! I am so thankful I have a tender husband this time around. IT sure makes the world turn smoother. There truly is nothing better then a thoughtful husband/spouse. Great post!

Sketchy said...

Happy Anniversary! It's so nice to hear your genuine love and gratitude for your spouse.

I love the idea of the "thoughtfulness journal". What a comfort to her now and I'm sure a blessing to them both during their marriage.

PS: I had a chocolate cake too. It took so much talking to my baker to convince her I REALLY wanted it brown, lol.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

you'll never read something this good in a hallmark greetings card! What a lovely way to be through life. Happy Anniversary!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Okay, when do we officially get to meet in real life? Not only do we share the same wedding anniversary (we just had our 9th yesterday), but our husbands and our marriages sound so similar.

Case in point is this paragraph: "But we hold hands. He listens to me. We jealously guard our evening and weekend time together as a family. We go to church together and talk too late into the night sometimes about things we care about - trading off between his passion for world affairs and mine for the affairs of our household."

That describes us to a T. And just the other day, on Mother's Day, DH and I were talking about how every day should be Mother's Day and in our house it is. He treasures me and cherishes me every. single. day. of. our. marriage. Yes we have our ups and downs, but he is my soul mate and he complements me completely.

OK, I have hogged enough space! Happy Anniversary!!

Janelle said...

Ah, how sweet and wonderful! I love to hear about couples cherishing each other. Wonderful post, I really enjoyed it!

Susie said...

I just stopped by to thank you for visiting and I've been caught up here reading about your delightful little Henry who still wants his diapers and the wonderful tribute to your marriage.
Your blog is a delight and I'm so glad I visited.
Happy (belated) anniversary. I remember all those feelings, because I still have them as I'm approaching my 40th anniversary next month!
:)