I do. Those are the words I spoke when I stood on the alter 18 years ago on this very day. I was 27 years old then and I had no idea what I was agreeing to. As time went by, the silly notion I had of marriage was replaced by the reality of what that kind of commitment really means.
I do meant saying less and doing more. It meant holding my tongue in moments of anger and learning patience in the midst of frustration. It meant learning to overlook the piles left on the sink, the counter and around every corner. It meant losing myself as I raised small children and getting up early on days when what I really needed to do was sleep. It was learning to clean up throw up and everything else that was left on the floor. It was watching my babies go off to school and lying awake crying at night because of the struggles they were going through. It meant watching the smile on my daughters face as she passed her drivers test and feeling my heart sink the first time she drove away. It meant long hours of school work helping Chase at the kitchen table and years of fight with schools to get him the help he really needs. It meant waking up on Christmas morning and thanking God for the family that was gathered around me. It meant recommitting to our relationship and fighting hard to get it back after we let it go astray. It meant traveling to wonderful places and making memories that still put a smile on my face. It meant fighting through depression on the days I didn’t want to get out of bed. It meant loving people on days I felt I didn’t have an ounce of love to give and finding the right words on days I didn’t want to speak. It meant being faithful and trusting the man I chose on this journey of life was the right man for me. It meant respecting him and loving him and building a friendship with him that was like no other. It meant allowing him to know my heart, my fears, my dreams and trusting he would still love me at the end of the day.
I had no idea then but I know more now. Life is hard. It is amazing but there are times that will test and rip you apart and those are the days you have to softly repeat, I do, I can, I will. It’s reminding myself on a daily basis that we are in the same boat and it is up to us to row or watch it sink. It is choosing to be on the same team even when it feels like we are playing different games.
Happy anniversary to my husband who I love and appreciate more every year. I pray we will celebrate many more.