I apologize in advance, but I’m going to hijack the blog a little today. I write this on the day of TheScott and my 10th anniversary, and while I have tried to come up with a social pagan-y topic for this post, my mind keeps wandering down paths more personal.
I got married at 23, pretty damn young for nowadays, and I had no idea what I was doing. I remember standing at the altar deeply determined that although my faulty memory may delete the remainder of the night through nerves and champagne, I would remember saying my vows. Well guess what? (Yeah, you guessed it:) I remember promising I would remember saying my vows. I do not remember saying them. I know they were the traditional things – to have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, etc (although I did make clear ahead of time there would be no “obeying”), but as a writer, I was a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t write my own – I mean, if anybody should…
But now I’m glad I didn’t. The traditional vows are generic enough that I’m not going to break them – I wouldn’t desert my husband over money or illness or a spot of bad luck. And frankly, at 23, I would’ve had no idea what else to promise…though I’ve a feeling it would’ve been eternal, unwavering love or perfect union or some such grandiose things I wasn’t sure I believed in but felt I should say.
I know better now.
So at 33, with ten years of having and holding only one man, I have finally started to figure out my vows. Wedding vows are supposed to be public things, with witnesses and ceremony, but I don’t have a second reception planned anytime soon. So I will put them publicly here instead, my vow and my love letter to my husband on our tenth anniversary.
Dearest (The)Scott, to you I promise…
I will not tell you who you are or try to define your dreams for you, because I love you the way you are. We are not one, but two who chose each other and continue to remake that choice every day. And we are better for it.
“With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do,” (said Emerson) and thus, as a great soul, I know you will change. I will not reject the changes you make as breaks from what we were, but I will take joy in discovering who you become and will encounter each transition knowing you move forward with integrity.
And when you’re not moving forward with integrity, I promise, my dear, to call you on it.
I, too, will continue to change and in doing so will strive to become a better person and a better partner with each year that passes. I do this for myself and to make us a better team. I ask your patience in return, for improvement is slow and difficult.
Whatever problems arise between us, I will seek a solution with you. Apart we can only fall further apart, but if we work together I have faith we can overcome whatever life will throw our way.
Sometimes, my love, I read of the pain in the world, and I doubt there could possibly be a divine being of goodness. I contemplate eternity and don’t understand how my life can have meaning. I see death and I fear that when I go there, nothing will be waiting for me.
But I never doubt you.
During those nights when I find myself fearing the darkness, I turn to watch you sleep – and I find peace. Each morning I wake to the sound of your voice, and the ritual starts my day with joy. When my faith is stretched to its limit, you still give me something to believe in, a reason to hope, and a motivation to grow.
Scott, I celebrate you this day. I hope to celebrate you again on our 75th wedding anniversary (hey, we got married young – it could happen), but if Fate doesn’t have that in store for us, know that I will be thankful, so very thankful, for whatever time we had. No matter what comes, my love, you will remain in my heart for as long as my spirit recognizes this life.