I think we’d both agree that marriage is hard. We knew that going into this thing. Or at least, we thought we knew it. The moment we got engaged, people were adamant about telling us how challenging marriage can be.
But like everything else in life, it’s hard to actually comprehend until you are living it. It’s difficult to truly understand what it will take for two imperfect, selfish people to love one another, day in and day out, when life gets busy, when change happens, and when times get tough.
Despite our naivety, we promised to do it anyway. We stood up at the altar and vowed to love one another “for better or worse, until death do us part,” without any knowledge of what it would actually take to do so.
But we know now. We have quickly learned that it’s one thing to speak those promises, and another thing entirely to live them out. And luckily, in a society of promise-breakers and quitters, I married you. I know you truly meant it when you promised to love me, because you live it out, each and every day.
You’ve walked with me…
Down the aisle, squeezing my shaky hand and brushing the hair from my face.
Through the door of our very first home, which was old and unimpressive, but it was ours.
Up and down the hallways of the hospital as the contractions grew stronger by the minute.
Arm in arm across the icy parking lots, my support to lean on through those long cold winters.
Into the battles, my greatest warrior, always supporting and defending me (even when I don’t deserve it).
Down the stairs and into the living room, collapsing on the couch with a giant bag of chips after finally, finally getting the kids to sleep.
You’ve held my hand…
On our very first date as we sat in the theater, the darkness hiding the flush of my cheeks.
As you got down on one knee, and made all my dreams a reality.
When the ultrasound technician told us we were going to be the proud parents to a healthy, happy baby.
And prayed, crying out to God with me on those dark, hard days.
Through Target, as we lingered in all the aisles, embracing our new form of “date night.”
On those warm summer nights, as we walked that same old path, sharing the details of our day with one another.
You’ve wrapped your arms around me…
When the pain of our loss was more than I could bare.
In the wee hours of the night, when the newborn had sucked every last ounce of energy from my bones.
As I washed the dishes, whispering “you’re beautiful” despite my spit-up stained sweatpants and greasy hair.
And said “I forgive you” when I was being unreasonable and “I’m sorry” when you were being a big fat jerk.
While we sat snuggled up on the couch on a Friday night, foregoing invitations from friends in favor of watching “our shows” for hours on end.
As we laid in bed, staying up late laughing about the stupid inside jokes that make you “my person.”
And as we’ve walked through these years, hand in hand, with your arms wrapped around me, I’ve never felt more at home.
I worry about a lot of things in this life, but losing you isn’t one of them. You said “until death do us part,” and you meant it.
And in the years to come,
I’ll walk with you…
Back to the car and into our “new normal” after dropping our youngest off at college.
Through empty-nesting, retirement, and into new adventures.
I’ll hold your hand…
As we powerwalk through the mall every Tuesday morning.
When your steps become shaky, our bodies age, and our good looks forsake us.
I’ll wrap my arms around you…
When you’re scrolling through old photos of our children, wishing we could relive those moments for just one more day.
As I whisper “thank you,” for a lifetime of hard work and providing for our family.
I’ll walk every moment of the rest of this life with you, my hand in yours, until your very last breath, when I’ll wrap my arms around you as God takes you home.
I’ll worry about a lot of things in the remainder of this life, but losing you won’t be one of them. I said “until death do us part,” but what I meant was,