If you had to pick a moment, just one, to say was the single best memory of your life, could you do it? Could you sift through all the birthday parties, the family dinners, the first dates, and lazy Sunday mornings and settle on just one single thing? It’s harder than it sounds; a life lived to even half its potential is full of memories.
It’s not difficult for me, though. I don’t even have to give it thought.
Ten years ago today, the Puddinette told me in front of a church crowded with our friends and family that she promised to love me with all of her heart, forever (I make that no simple task, I assure you). Later that evening, we shared our first married dance together, as newlyweds do, and that brief few minutes is the single favorite moment of my life.
For the time that Leann Rimes’ “How Do I Live” played at our reception, my new bride and I held each other, barely spoke a word, and simply reveled in being together. There were 300 people looking on, and honestly, there could have been 300 thousand. To my mind, there was no one else in that room just then, or for that matter, in the whole world.
It’s a lot to say that of all the special moments in our life, that one is the most special to me. But without that one, all the others would mean so much less. Successes and failures, joys and pains, highs and lows, are all magnified or eased, respectively, because of the love of my wife.
The Puddinette held my hand at my grandmother’s funeral, and it brought me comfort. I held her hand at the moment each of our four children left her and entered this world, to help her ease their arrival. I’ve held her when we’ve gotten devastating news that seemed like a bad dream you couldn’t wake up from and we’ve held each other in celebration of news so wonderful it can’t be described or discussed so much as just enjoyed.
I love her so much it makes my chest tight and brings a lump to my throat.
In the past ten years, we’ve been through all the things they tell you about before you get married, but don’t believe will happen. Hard times, joy, laughter, tears, bad news and good. Through it all, at every one of those moments I’ve stopped briefly to give thanks to whatever higher power(s) are out in the universe that she was put here just for me, and that I was led to her, as blind as I was then.
Marriage is so much more than a ceremony or a vow, a ring or a Saturday event. It’s a commitment to give all of yourself to someone else and the collection of experiences you share afterward. The priest who celebrated our wedding whispered to us on the altar after we’d exchanged rings, “relax, you’re married now.” In God’s eyes, the Church’s eyes, I guess that’s true. But in my eyes, the first moment I realized that my life and her life had become one thing, together, forever, was when we danced our first dance.
It’s been ten years since that perfect dance with my new bride. Ten years that she’s been putting up with my crap; ten years of sharing a life that’s somehow more than the sum of all its (increasingly crazy) parts.
Ten perfect years I would not have traded for anything in the world. I can only hope that the next ten be as perfect as these; I have little doubt that they will.
Happy Anniversary, Querida. Te amo con todo mi corazon. Te amo mas que tango las palabras.