VOW: a solemn promise or assertion, specifically one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition
Nine years ago, I got dressed up, pulled my brothers down the aisle, and said “I Do!” to Husband.
There are plenty of things I would change about our wedding if I was given a do-over. I would remember to grab the liquor license before leaving home, skip the cheesy wedding favors and wear comfortable shoes – just to name a few. But there were plenty of things we got right.
My sister-in-law could sing the ABCs and it would be lovely. But, her performance of The Beatles’ “In My Life” was absolutely beautiful. It may seem strange to bring up past lovers during a wedding ceremony, but I love the song we chose.
I like that the song doesn’t rely on the “they were nothing to me” approach to previous friendships and loves and life phases but instead allows the people (including former versions of ourselves) to be cherished while making room for an even greater love.
My friend wrote a touching and wise post recently that said, in part:
“I absolutely love what my life has become. But I can no longer see it as this linear path with college in the distant past and my grown-up Seattle life as the only thing in front of me. All my old “lives” mingle and flow together, all for one and one for all. And everyone is still very much with me.”
I think our wedding song captured that truth.
We keep a copy of our vows on our dresser. I read them often:
I enter into a marriage covenant with you
secure in the knowledge that you will be
my constant friend, faithful partner, adventure buddy and one true love.
On this special day, I give to you in the presence of God
my sacred promise to stay by your side
in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow,
through the good times and the bad.
I promise to love you without reservation,
demonstrate honor and respect,
grow with you in mind and spirit,
always be open and honest with you,
and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
Nine years ago, we spoke those words to each other as a promise for the future. Today, we are living a life filled with the trust, security, adoration, companionship and adventure we hoped for. That is the power of a solemn promise.
During our ceremony, our pastor had us turn around and soak in the faces of the friends and family who were there to support us in that moment and in the years to come. Due to nerves, most of the ceremony is a blur for me…but that moment of overwhelming love is crystal clear. The love and support of those people has been one of the highlights of our life together.
I remember the certainty I felt standing at the altar. I was not even old enough to rent a car in my own name but I was sure that Husband was the man I wanted to grow old with. It is perhaps life’s greatest blessing, kids included, to be even more certain today.
Husband has been – as he promised – my constant friend, faithful partner, and adventure buddy.
He remains my truest love.