I woke up this morning feeling not particularly well. Not terrible. Just not particularly well. The tumour under my breastbone was a bit painful and my body was aching and I was still tired after a night’s rest. I received chemotherapy this week and the weekend afterwards is always when I feel the side effects most.
23 years ago I woke up on this very same date excited, nervous and full of optimism about the days to come.
It was my wedding day 23 years ago!
I hope you’ll excuse the grainy old photos and indulge me a little trip down memory lane.
There’s a lot of anticipation and expectation about wedding days. For good reason. My wedding day was one of the best days of my life. It also has been one of the most important days of my life. A day where Alex and I became our own little family. Which has miraculously become a much larger family thanks to the blessing of the five beautiful children who have become a part of our life. We have spent 23 years together working, playing, doing the routines of life. It has been a wonderful life together.
I’ve just wrote, “I will never regret saying ‘I do’ “. I backspaced. It’s not the truth. Honesty is one of my top attributes, so to be truthful, there has been plenty of times that I have regretted saying “I do”. Marriage can be excruciatingly annoying, painful, frustrating and tedious. There have been moments where I have questioned why I am in this marriage. But I’ve stayed in the marriage. And that commitment to stay, I have never, I will never, regret.
As complicated as marriage, the good far outweighs the bad. It has been my joy and pleasure to be Alex’s wife. We have shared so many adventures together from the ordinary life of jobs and commitments to the exciting times of travel and events to all the beautiful moments shared with family and friends in between.
Marriage is between two people, but it is influenced and influences far more than two people. Once children are on the scene, and we are so grateful that they arrived, the sphere of influence in our marriage became magnified. Suddenly we two people were doing everything with our heart and soul to make five (for us!) more people happy, healthy and help them to find purpose in this life.
Marriage is two people working together to achieve outcomes that are better done together. It’s joining forces with people around you. As I’ve been reflecting on our wedding day 23 years ago I’ve been thinking of all the people who were present and celebrated the day with us. I loved having a large wedding, it was so special to share the start of a new life with a group of people who were cheering us on into a combined future. I am so happy that the friendships we had back in those days still continue. We still have special connections with everyone in our bridal party and so many more people who were a part of our life.
When I was younger I had no idea how the years make friendships so rich. We are so blessed indeed that our families are and always have been a supportive crew around us throughout our marriage. So many excursions, birthdays, meals around the table together. Marriage becomes a community of people around you.
23 years later I’ve woken feeling not particularly well. My ailments and complaints are really quite mild. The issue with my mild complaints is that I know that these aches and pains have a far more sinister origin to your regular mild complaint. Which leads me to reflect on the vow we made 23 years ago to be by one another’s side in sickness and in health. With the optimism of youth, this can somehow feel more of a romantic statement rather than the true grit that is required if it becomes a reality.
I am so blessed to have Alex by my side during these more difficult times. His devotion as a husband has been echoed the words of the scripture my cousin read on our wedding day. His love has been patient. He has been kind. He has been willing to put his own ambitions aside in order to help me and together we have persevered through the hard times. I always feel protected by Alex and I am thankful that our love has plenty of trust and hope in one one another and in our God.
I love you Alex, and always will. As long as we both shall live.