Yup yup. Today’s the anniversary of the day we married.
On our first anniversary, we thought about what kind of traditions we wanted for our anniversary. We considered wearing our fancy pants and eating out (not normally something we’d do). Or going to the movies. What do you do to celebrate commitment?and love? and life? We decided the most important thing is to just spend time together. Nicole’s reflective and likes to dabble in scrap-booking. Sean thinks ahead and enjoys remembering the ‘adventures.’ Naturally we decided to spend each anniversary day adding to our Anniversary Scrapbook.
We select photos from different times in our life. Brainstorm our Highs and Lows. Momentous occasions, deaths, where we traveled, what we learned, and what we hope for in the next year. We’ll make some welcome delicious, wholesome food; put on a fun movie, or music; and record our year on a few pages.
On Monday, I, Nicole, had the pleasure of meeting a woman in her 90s. She recently lost her husband. This August, it would have been 63 years they were married. 63 years! As she shared her stories and memories, she often got choked up. She spoke in ‘we’ and ‘us.’ She talked of how recently, she can’t cry due to blocked tear ducts. I thought Don’t worry! I’ll cry for you. Perhaps the deeper the sadness we feel at the death of our Most-Loved-One directly correlates to the joy we shared with them. 63 years. What a way to live. Selflessly. Not flawlessly. But living beyond yourself, not wrapped in ME all the time, but letting us dominate your vocabulary. And I don’t just mean being married, folks.
Ubuntu. I am because we are. If only I lived as if I were married to every person. Hah! I’ve no desire to have many husbands, or anyone other than Sean. But the way I treat Sean is so unique. Granted, sometimes I get angrier with him. He sees more of the ‘bad parts’ than many others. However, I hope he sees many of my ‘good’ parts. I share secrets. Am tender. Love relentlessly. Forgive endlessly. All because I’ve chosen love. I gave up the right a long time ago to hold grudges, hate, withhold grace. A deep part of me chose, several years ago, that I would love. And love him. So when he hurts me, (and he will, because we do) I don’t have a choice, but to heal. Don’t have an option, but to forgive.
Now, because he’s a guy of integrity, he won’t run away with this knowledge. He won’t hurt and burn and harm me just because he knows there’s forgiveness and forgetting to come. But this safety and trust allows us to be more real. Be challenged. To change and accept and grow with each other.
What if I were married to all the world? And treated all the people of the world is this way? Could my heart hold all that love?
God, I hope so.
if i live to 63. or to be married for 63 years. or just live 6 more years. let me live as if i were married to all the world. let my heart hold so much love, forgiveness, trust, and hope. may our lives be a scrapbook. a gathering. of all the joyous moments, people. let my heart hold the pictures of highs and lows. dreams, deaths, and fun. may we live full, unguarded, intentional lives. may we live with reckless abandon and from the heart. Always.