Like most things with me, once I am out of the habit (of doing whatever it is) I find it so, so hard to resume the discipline. Then comes the over thinking whereby I convince myself that there is little point in repeating the words I have written here and perhaps elsewhere before. Sometimes my decisions are clouded with thinking that unless I have something outstanding to present or to say or write, that perhaps I should stay silent and sit tight and wait until the remarkable presents itself to me. Perhaps this is why I have saved my return here until today because today is a remarkable one. Today is mine and hubby's 18th wedding anniversary. This means that we have spent nearly half our lives together which really does seem remarkable, especially now when our lives are so thoroughly shaped by our identity as a family of four. And yet, as I explained to my boys just a few days ago, there was one year dating and ten years of marriage, of us before they arrived. This is something that is a new source of fascination for the eldest, as it has suddenly struck him that his parents married young. 'Twenty', he uttered in repetition when I answered his question as to my age when I married Dad.
One of the poignant and touching memories from my wedding day were words spoken by my big sister to me. I can't remember them word for word but the gist was 'if it all falls apart, never feel that you can't come to me because it has all fallen apart'. As she said the words all I could focus on were her big brown eyes and furrowed brows, the familiar look of love, of concern, the look of a big sister. She was the only one to speak those kind of words to me on that day and ever since I have been extremely grateful. Through those rough patches that marriages go through, through those compromises that marriage demands, through those comments from folks that said we made marriage look easy, through those changing seasons and additions to our unit, through it all I thought of those words. These words were poignant words too since they were the kind of words I conjured a father speaking to his daughter and I of course had this father missing from my own wedding day. However, these were words spoken to me by another father who I believe destined for my hubby and I to be together. This too, I remember through the challenging times when it becomes easy to think simply of oneself and not as a unit. In these times, I remember the same kind of words uttered to me by my heavenly father, in relation not simply to marriage but to life itself 'if it all falls apart, never feel that you can't come to me because it has all fallen apart'.
Now that I'm 38 and memories of being 20 feel distant and those memories as they do, become peppered with other things, I see clearly one thing. Faith. It was faith that joined us, faith that gave us the clarity to make a life changing decision, faith that protected us from other people's opinions and it is faith that keeps us together, through the good and the bad and the ugly. It is also the simple truth that we like each other, we like each others company. We are both ridiculously high strung and dramatic and opinionated, we both bark at one another like crazy old dogs trying to let the other one know whose boss, we both sometimes forget to show each other why we chose one another all those years ago but we also both know that nineteen years ago we each met our soul mate and after a week of knowing each other we said we were going to get married and you know we did and we were right on the money.