Category Archives: Anniversary

To the happy couple – my words to my niece as she marries …

I’m thankful to have a chance to be a part of today’s ceremony. It is always a joy to speak of love and the beauty that a day like this means not only to the couple, but to all of us who have found love and experienced what it means to commit your heart to another.

I learned a long time ago that finding your mate isn’t about finding someone you can see yourself living with the rest of your life. It’s about finding someone and realizing you can’t possibly imagine living your life without them. The first case is focused on the admin logistics of a lifetime together and the second more pressing interpretation, and the one I think brings us here today, is about the total faith and commitment of your most vulnerable self to another. Not because it will be easy, but more because you realize when it is not easy, you still want that man or woman to be the one by your side.

I would suggest that being in love on days like today is easy. It is when times are hard, when things are in chaos and when you are at your most vulnerable that real love shows itself in the form of that one man or woman who is there every time to lend strength and comfort to make you stronger than yourself and better than yourself when you are alone. I know that every married couple here, who utters the words “I love you” to another has experienced times when you’ve looked to your husband or wife and asked them to carry you through things you didn’t feel you could navigate alone.

I know too, after being in my own marriage for 28 years, that revisiting the type of love we witness today is an affirmation of our own beginnings and our early surrender to the promise and trust of marriage. In a way, I envy my neice and Steve. In a way I wish I still had that brand new love, that clean fresh rain of passion that you are experiencing now and will experience in the coming years. After consideration however, I will tell you a secret. If you do this right and if you guard the other persons heart and trust as I believe you will, your depth and understanding of true love will only grow deeper and more beautiful. Your depth and understanding of how strong it makes you to be so vulnerable with someone, your depth and understanding of how easy it will make the hardest of times and your depth and understanding of why today, you are giving yourself to one person for the rest of your life will be one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.

Love that is true, love that is faithful and love that is vulnerable, scary, at times equally painful and exquisite in nature is as unique as a storm that opens to a rainbow, as beautiful as a winter that yields to a spring and as satisfying to see as a flower that blooms from a beautiful and youthful bud.

You have both had trials, you have both had victories over those trials and today you stand to yield yourselves to one another in love. We are grateful to share your day and as I shared at your sister’s wedding Becky, all of us are here to help you and Steve recognize there is nothing you cannot overcome together, there is nothing we will not help you grow through and there is nothing that will stop the growth of our faith in your love.

Becky asked me to read a sonnet by ee cummings. It is not an easy poem to read as cummings designed it to been seen and felt for the way it was written as well as for the words he selected. At no time in the poem does he capitalize the letter “I” to separate his importance from the importance of his love and save one or two semi colons there is no punctuation to mar the flow of the words. In particular cummings separates phrases visually as if to allow him to whisper to his loved ones heart quietly and yet still in full view of the reader.

I will however, do my best to help you sense the depth of his faith and surrender:

 

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Be gentle with one another’s hearts. Be gentle with your words and strong in your commitment not just to each other, but to the promise of love.

beckys-photo

 

 

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A Letter to My Husband

I wanted to write you a letter today.

I wanted to tell you that I love you as much today as I did 22 years ago; but I can’t.

In truth, that love was an immature love, a conditional love, and I realize I didn’t know you. When I consider our love now, I am struck that I love you more than I did 22 years ago. I love all of your strengths I’ve come to know, and all of your weaknesses I’ve come to embrace. I love the man and not just the image of the two of us being together. For better or for worse is not the definition of moments in a marriage, it is the story of a marriage. The acceptance of “for better or for worse” as the way life unfolds and knowing you are there to face that life with me has given me an incredible sense of security.

I wanted to talk about all the people that have helped us as our lives have unfolded and how we wouldn’t be who we are without that help; but as we both know, I can’t.

I cannot thank everyone who helped us along the way because in truth we have done most of this ourselves.

Any success we have has been because we’ve planned for that success. We have certainly had strong mentors to provide good examples, but we’ve made the choices and struggled through the highs and lows to get to this point in our lives on our own. I’m proud of that and don’t think I’d want it any other way.

I wanted to talk about everything I cannot wait to do with you when the children are gone and it is just you and me, but I can’t.

I don’t look forward to our children being gone. We have a life and a love that allows us to embrace all the things we want to do as a couple and with the boys; here and now. That doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to having time for just you and me…but I have no need to have that happen tomorrow, the next day or anytime sooner than it is supposed to happen. I am very happy living these days now. I am very happy not to rush them, and I don’t want our family to ever be so far apart that we cannot get together and celebrate the love we’ve built.

It will always come back to us. I am sure.

I wanted to point to the life I envision for us as we get closer to our goals but really; we have achieved our goals.

They are not somewhere out in the future…they are now. Every kiss in the morning, every smile in the afternoon and every time we get through another event as a family only impresses upon me how many goals we have achieved.

I wanted to write about the perfection of our union and how absolutely easy this has all been; but as we both know we are not perfect, and this has not been easy.

We started a life together that was literally tested by being oceans apart. We both understand that marriage is hard work and that love is a verb that has to be constantly acted upon to be real. I appreciate that at times when I forget that, you bring me back to those actions.

I appreciate that you demand a lot from me. I appreciate that we are partners in the marriage we have and that we are each other’s confidants. I know our secrets are safe with one another, and that love will always be a verb for both of us.

I wanted to write you a letter today, but as it turns out the letter has written itself. I hope you take it as my gift to you.

The adventure continues, for better or for worse.

Happy Anniversary Boo

I love you
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