We stood hand in hand in front of 350 guests and vowed richer, poorer, sickness, health, til death do us part. Through the vows, the celebration, the cutting of the cake, the hours of dancing, I didn’t think I could ever love him deeper than that moment.
While love increased over time, like a slow, gradual, hand in hand walk up an inclined path, there were also moments where I specifically remember thinking: My gosh, I really love him differently today.
The day of my first miscarriage, I called Ed on the phone at work. A bit of panic had settled into my voice. A few moments later he was sitting beside me on the couch, holding me. The doctors insisted that over-the-counter pain meds would control my pain. Ed called the doctor and explained that ibuprofen would not be enough relief. He sternly, yet kindly said: “Where would you like to call in some stronger medicine?” My calm-natured husband was a strong-care-giver and I was wild about him.
That evening he never left my side. I loved him deeper that day.
The day I drove up in the driveway and he was holding our 80-year-old neighbor on her front lawn while she was so sick and throwing up in the grass. He gently rubbed her back while reassuring her, “It’s going to be okay Ms. Mary... the paramedics will be here soon.” Mary continued to apologize for getting sick on Ed. “Ms. Mary, these things can be washed. It’s going to be okay”. He motioned for our son to go get a blanket.
We covered her up, her head resting on Ed’s shoulder. The love I had for him seemed to grow deep roots.
The evening we had a massive argument. We were arguing over something nonsensical. Honestly, I can’t even recall the topic. Primarily my memory is blank because Ed’s reaction forced my focus off of the topic. “We will not go to bed angry. I love us too much for that.” And I begrudgingly sat and worked out our words and actions until after midnight.
After I finished my only-child-tantrum I came to the reality that his love for us was wide and deep. He fought for us. I loved him dearly for that fight.
The day my kids were being particularly siblingish in their interactions with each other. I was losing every ounce of my mind as my sweet kiddos were standing on the one final nerve I had remaining. Ed entered from work, placed his briefcase down and looked at the three of them and proclaimed, "Listen, we will not be known as Me-First people. We will be known for how we serve one another. Get yourselves under control right now. Go serve your siblings. Do you understand?"
I was wildly in love with him.
The day we arrived home from Ethiopia to a sea of family and friends. They cheered, cried and smooched all over the five of us. As we began to exit the International Arrivals area at Dulles and walk to our car, I saw the back of my husband, carrying an Adidas backpack on his back and our youngest child in his arms. My golly I wanted to jump up and give him the biggest, longest, most passionate kiss I’d ever laid on his lips. I could’ve blamed the emotion on 48 hours of travel and pure exhaustion. But I knew it was something else. He was now a Daddy. I had never known him with that title before. And it looked so lovely on him.
I was absolutely head over heels in love with my man.
Are all of our moments made for fairytales? No way. Far from it. There are seasons where we don’t jive as well. Arguing seems to overtake rational behavior.
As this September marks ten years of marriage, we know there is good, bad, hard, lovely, and ugly wrapped inside this package of matrimony.
Yet, all of it together creates this relationship that is ours alone.
The hard parts produce perseverance while the joyful parts breathe life.
I thought I loved my husband on Day One. The truth is, our love was in the diaper-wearing-infant stage. Cute and cuddly. Now, we are in real life. We still cuddle, but we have to be more strategic in those snuggle-sessions because life has a way of taking over. We wake up with morning breath to kids who need attention, jobs that need action, meals that need to be prepared and relationships that need to be cultivated.
I’m so grateful for the slow incline of love. It’s in the those daily, mundane moments that love grows and becomes ours. I’m also wildly thankful for the wow moments that stop me in my tracks and remind me over and over that love never fails.