Twenty-four years ago I was wearing a white dress. I was staring at my future as I held his hand and we exchanged vows and rings. The future that was started on that day has not left me disappointed. It has been full of calm and storm, success and failure, faith and fear, good decisions and bad.
I had an idea over the weekend to go through my pictures and see if I could pick out the best picture of David and I from each year we have been married and make a 24 year collage. What great therapy! With all of the "marriage challenges" that have been going around on Facebook, I will be honest, I am thankful that I haven't been nominated...our life isn't the fairy tale in our house. I was reminded of that truth in the last couple days thinking about and putting together this pictorial review of our life.
What is that truth? Well...we don't always live "happily ever after" and that is okay. As I was thinking about some pictures off of the top of my head I was thinking "ooh, there is that one, and oh, I am going to look for that one". I started going through year by year. There were a lot more pictures to choose from during the four years BEFORE we married than there was any year after that.
I was sad to find there were not an abundance of pictures to choose from. In fact, there were NONE to speak of from 2005 until I remembered that my brother was married that year and David and I stood together in the family picture up at the altar. So there it is...the one time all year in 2005 that we were photographed together both facing the camera. (My apologies to the rest of the family who got cropped out).
Stacey came by while I was working on it and said "Mom! Don't you have a better picture of you and Dad from this year?" Actually...no, life has been a little hectic this year. We have family pictures to take but that isn't til next week. We will probably have a better one for 2016 after that but no...us sitting on the back step of the house while the kids are lighting sparklers on the 4th of July is the best I can do for now. It is okay, there are a few other years along the way where I couldn't do any better. That is life sweet daughter!
I saw a spoof on the "marriage challenge" the other day on FB. This person posted pictures of she and her husband posed arguing, posed facing opposite sides of the bed and numerous other poses that were supposed to help us to remember that none of us live the lives we portray on Facebook. I laugh as I write that last line because 2013's picture I had to go online to find because the one my sister-in-law posted on Facebook was better than any I could come up with myself.
Before I remembered my brother's wedding picture for the 2005 slot, I actually had cropped a picture that showed David and I together but looking the opposite direction...the back of our heads. That was the only one I had of us together. Then I stop and and I think: "some years are just like that". And isn't that the truth?
The spoofer of the marriage challenge is absolutely right. I say that knowing full well that my husband's road is certainly not easy living with me and I know that. There are days that loving him is a no-brainer and then there are days that I have to press through knowing that today I CHOOSE love. It isn't romantic, it isn't easy and it isn't the movies. It is real life.
I say it every year in some form but I am thankful for a God who holds it all together. I am thankful that we were all romance and big dreams when it all began. I am thankful for the nine vehicles that have gotten us around, the five places we have lived in the last twenty-four years. But mostly, I am thankful for a man who loves me for who I am and has committed to me for as long as we live.
David is home to me. Nothing is real until I share it with him, nothing is truly experienced until I can tell him and get his take on it. His way of thinking about things and working through things is so different that I am amazed at how all of this actually works even after all of these years.
Any regular day we would be paying bills, getting groceries, taxiing children here and there, cooking dinner, cleaning up, refereeing disagreements, but tonight...we eat sushi sitting across the table from one another like we are the only ones there. Life is good...SO good!