This is the Person I Want to Marry
When you first look at someone and think to yourself, This … this is the person I want to marry, your vision is skewed.
You see romance, you see a twinkle in the eye, you see the possibility of one day rather than the reality of today.
You look at this person and see holding hands and candlelit dinners and walks at sunset.
You close your eyes and believe, heart and soul, that marriage will freeze this feeling and make it eternal.
Then you get married.
In the early years, you look at this person a little more closely.
Did they always leave dirty laundry in the wrong place? Why had they never learned how to correctly load the dishwasher? And what a bizarre memory they have – able to remember all the wrong words you said and forget the ones you got right. Strange.
You look harder and there it is – there’s still the romance and the twinkle in the eye. As the reality of today clamors for more and more attention, there is still that sweet possibility of one day stretching out before you.
The years grow. And right alongside, so do responsibility and obligation. Jobs press in and money flows out. There are decisions to be made, some small, some impossible. What to eat for dinner? Should we redo the kitchen? Should we move for this job? Is the veterinarian right … is it time to say good-bye?
The decisions pile up and sometimes you disagree.
And in those moments, it is very hard to see the person that you first saw – the one you wanted to marry.
But then one of you slips a hand out toward the other and offers up a shy grin.
And there it is – there’s still the twinkle in the eye and the lovely possibility of one day.
More years go by and in the flood of time, you both get caught up in all the requirements of adulthood. The job you moved for opens up to more and more responsibility (which really means time). Those kitchen cabinets you painted have since been replaced with new ones. The memory of the pet you grieved so bitterly has softened. Groceries, bills, laundry, taxes, doctors’ appointments, car repairs, the random request to help so-and-so on your one day off. You both wear all of these responsibilities and sometimes, you forget to look. You forget to see the person that you wanted to marry.
And then one day comes. You have a few quiet minutes to yourself so you sit back. You look at old photos of you and that person you wanted to marry. And you think, goodness, how young we were. We had no idea what we were doing.
We had no idea that as those years were going by, as we were talking and dreaming of the future, that the good stuff was something we already had, that it has been one day all along.
You think about all the times you couldn’t decide on dinner so instead you had breakfast. You think about painting those kitchen cabinets. It was such a project but man, it was fun – because we did it together. You think about the big, arduous move for the job and smile as you remember all the new places you got to explore as a result. Your smile falters as you think of the sad good-byes but you remember how much it mattered to say those good-byes together, to clasp hands and squeeze tight and find comfort in the solid truth of each other.
You look over all this and see that the person you wanted to marry has grown into someone that you never could have seen. The two of you have shared the good and bad of each other and a life emerged, tangled and messy and perfect.
And that is more than you could have ever asked for when you first looked at the person you wanted to marry.
*** Happy Anniversary to my husband, my partner, my best friend. I love you.***