I almost fainted during my wedding portraits. Not because I was nervous, but because I bought a wedding dress that had not one inch to spare and I hadn’t eaten for almost 24 hours. Which begs the question: if you aren’t any smarter than that, are you really ready to take lifetime commitment wedding vows? Probably not, but we did anyway. It was June 3, 1989, which, if you’re counting, was 23 years ago today. And yes, we’re counting.
Earlier in our marriage, I used to make Kyle watch the wedding video every anniversary. But eventually, the quality of the video made everything look a little orange, and besides, we had lost enough people we cherished that it was tough to get through. We haven’t seen it for years, and this year was no exception. Tonight, instead, we talked about what makes a marriage last, but honestly, we have no idea. If someone asked us to give marriage advice, we would only tell them that we now know that God has a sense of humor and He is infinitely filled with grace. And if we were smarter, we would have put those two things – humor and grace – in the center of our marriage long before now. God’s sense of humor? We had to get a babysitter for our first anniversary (surprise!). God’s infinite grace? He’s brought us to a place in our marriage that is better now than we could ever have imagined, despite our selfishness, stupidity, and the really ugly hoop skirt dresses that I made my bridesmaids wear. We don’t deserve the blessings, no doubt about it.
So, here is what I would like to say to Kyle in these last few hours of our anniversary day: I want to grow really, really old with you. I want to be one of those wrinkled couples who take their walk early in the morning. I want to have so many memories that we sit up late in the evening (say, 9:30?) and relive the crazy, scary, beautiful moments of our lives together. I want us to babysit our great-grandchildren and go through about four more dogs. I don’t care where we live, or what we wear (unless you decide to do the tube socks with white tennis shoes bit), or what we drive (no Buick, though).
And maybe, on one of those anniversaries when we’ve gone completely gray and have lots of hitches in our steps, we’ll pull out the wedding video and watch those two young kids take the vows again. We’ll laugh, knowing that they had no idea what they were getting into, and then we’ll say thanks to God, because He brought them through it all.