We had worried over the threat of rain at our new home. Would the tent hold on the slope of the yard? Could people navigate our galley kitchen when the food was served? And would the weather gods smile on us in a place that we had high hopes of blending a family.
While my hairstylist wove baby pink roses into my up-do in the quiet of our bedroom, tromping feet, a few loud calls, and doors opening and closing belied the fact that John was taking care of last details. I couldn't help but feel the magic of being married to my best friend.
Time ran short. I put on the morning gray dress that fit me to a tee. John needed help with his tie. Once dressed, I said, "We have to rehearse what we're going to say." He'd avoided it, let me draft and flesh out what we wanted our kids, our family and friends, to know on this day. We stood in front of our vanity mirror and John began with "Dear family" when his voice cracked. Several starts later, I said, "If you get into trouble just squeeze my hand and I'll take over."
It was a picture-perfect day. The tent a beautiful expression of shelter, but also a beautiful expression of what we wanted for all of our guests. A happy time to celebrate. Music and wine and friendship, conjoined with us to embrace the beginning of our new life as two families married together.
So today when I think about the love I have for my husband, I think as well about the marriage preparation we went through as part of a marriage in the Church. A pre-cana question of "Are you willing to have more children?" and both of us voicing a resounding no because six was enough.
Try as I might I have not found a card that could say everything I want to say. We are 22 years strong. You and I have danced our way through so much, knowing the validity of a relationship strengthened by experience. Homework, basketball schedules, arguments of who sits where in the van; that's all behind us.
Now much of our time is spent either sitting on our front porch, deck, or dining room table in a corner reserved for weekday meals. When the family gathers ,that's the most important thing for us. Two years ago we should have had everyone around a table in Asheville, North Carolina but instead, we gathered on our deck to celebrate those 20 years. Our anniversary has never been about just two of us. We are family, always have been.
Tonight, my husband will fulfill a small request of mine to dine at an expensive restaurant that I've not been to before. I'll wear a nice dress. I'll put on some heels. I'll make my face up like they taught me to do when we were ballroom dancing and I'll feel special on the arm of my husband.
And the weather forecast is for 75 and sunny.