Hubby's sister is getting married tomorrow, and our family is pretty overjoyed about it. Even my nine year old cries happy tears when she encounters pictures of her aunt and almost-uncle together, or when she hears a romantic song that makes us think of them. It's pretty funny from a girl who still thinks boyfriends are yucky (thank you, Jesus).
My sis-in-law is the last one in her immediate family to get married, and we have all prayed for her to find a special man who will cherish her. I personally am so proud of all she has accomplished as a single woman -- leading small groups at our church, developing solid friendships with other women of integrity, putting herself through culinary school, having a successful career both as a pastry chef and now in design. I went from my father's house to my husband's like a girl from the 1950s and have never supported myself that way. I think we are most proud of her for holding out for the right one. But woven in my joy and pride for who she is and what she means to our family as sister, friend and amazing Auntie, I have felt her pain: she wanted a companion to share her life with, and she wanted to become a mother.
And so, we are very excited, and caught up in the romance of love fulfilled. The struggle of the search for love makes finding it all the sweeter. When she walks down the aisle to Van Morrison's "Someone Like You" (I've been waiting...for someone like you...) we will probably all bawl like babies.
I have felt a particularly sweetness over the last few weeks as I've watched the bride and groom laugh, plan and celebrate together. Because they are celebrating what I have had for 14 years (or 18 if you count when I first met my husband). I only had to wait until I was 21 to meet the love of my life, and marry him. We have traveled together and bought a house. We have two gorgeous, healthy children. And we are fulfilling our vows, as life fulfills it's promise to give us both sides of them (plenty and want, joy and sorrow, health and sickness).
It's so, so easy to take it all for granted. The romance in our marriage sometimes feels as faded as the sage green in our Ralph Lauren towels that we got for wedding gifts. (Side note, I would like to get married again just for loot. I really need new flatware. All my spoons have been eaten up by the garbage disposal and Crate and Barrel has discontinued them so I can't get more.)
But imagining what it would have been like without Jeff for the last 15 years is, well, unimaginable. I was spared so much struggle and heartache by being with my man of integrity early in my life, growing up with him, really. I am truly, still crazy about the man I married. I think it might even be safe to say that he adores me, too. I can't imagine a life I would rather have had. So though we may not make the other guests weep with joy when they see us cheek to cheek on the dance floor tomorrow, I just might weep with joy for myself.
So congratulations to the bride and groom. We're crazy happy for you, and thank you for reminding us how happy we are, too. May God bless all your years ahead, with peace, joy, babies, and the ability to be grateful for it all.