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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Anniversary day


Nine years on a playground.

If you're reading this, it's most likely you know my better half in person or through her online presence. If by some strange series of events you found this blog without coming through hers, you should follow the link to "My Wife's Blog" on this page and enjoy a glimpse of what a lovable person she is.

Nine years ago today we got married in a little church in Murfreesboro in a cheap dress and a rented tux (she was in the dress; I was in the tux) with friends and family in attendance. There were no bride’s maids or groomsmen and no ring bearer, but there was a whole platoon of flower girls. There were flowers from walmart and chocolate covered pretzels we’d made ourselves. The guy running the music messed up one of the tracts that was supposed to play and don’t even ask about the wedding video shot by a now ex-brother-in-law (it was so painful I think we only managed to watch it once).

We'd met less than 6 months earlier in the middle of strawberry patch. We went hiking with friends the following weekend and had our first two dates the weekend after that. I remember where we ate and where we danced, what we did and where we went, the movie we watched, the music we listened to and where we kissed. I don’t know if it was hormones or madness or fate or a moment of transcendent clarity but by the end of that weekend we both knew we'd be married and we were humbled that we were witness to something bigger than us at work.
We had wanted to have an outdoor ceremony in a park somewhere. Just a simple picnic with friends and family and frisbees and dogs and at some point we'd stop, get everyone's attention and speak our vows. But pressures from family and other people's expectations meant things didn't go exactly as planned.

You can't depend on the weather in Tennessee in November, but as I remember, it was a beautiful day and the ceremony would have been perfect in a park. Kind of like tomorrow is supposed to be. Pleasantly warm with a crisp clear sky and bathed in brilliant color and light. My mom was worried about the weather. I think she really just wanted her youngest son married in a church, but the weather was the excuse she gave for nagging us about changing our plans. I think Lisa and I just Knew (with a capital "K") that the weather would be fine the way we Knew "it" was meant to be. "We" were meant to be. Had the day been cold and rainy we could have huddled together under an umbrella with a candle’s flickering light dancing on our faces and we would have been warm and fine.

It was a time when music could steal the breath from your lungs and films would move you to tears. The world was magic and we couldn’t figure out why we hadn’t noticed that before.

I was nearly 30. Lisa was in her mid-20s and had been engaged to be married once before. So we weren’t kids, but we were.

On some other, higher plain of existence we were children on a playground. I think one of us was lost and a little bit frightened and one of us was alone and more than a little sad, but we’d found each other. We had a balloon to share, and maybe an ice cream cone. But most importantly now we each had a hand to hold to tightly.

This probably sounds foolish and strange to a soul that doesn’t live in that realm. But this is my haunting vision and it moves me to tears to remember it and how I was blessed and given the gift of a friend to spend my life with. Between jobs and sleepless nights and sick kids and mortgage payments and broken plumbing my eyes get clouded over. I’ve lost sight too many times of the slides and the swings and the merry-go-round. I’ve taken for granted my constant companion who has been the source of nearly every good thing in my life for the last decade.

Nine years is a lifetime and nine years is an eye blink. I hope with all my being it is only a prelude for what is to come.

I don’t think we’ve even explored the sandbox yet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is fun to know someone for so long and then learn something new. I suppose marriage is the extreme of that, but the details and the would-be details of your wedding were a surprise to me. I think I knew that you two had met in a strawberry patch and married not to much later, but I hadn't realized it was six months.

Once I was watching Dharma and Greg and I thought, "Hey, I know those people."

I enjoy you two so much and your (plural) writings. I hope it's OK that I commented on this one before the better half had a chance to.

I checked earlier tonight on both of your blogs and was disappointed to see nothing new. Then I looked one last time before bed, and what a reward there was! Fresh, warm, and sweet.

OK. Goodnight.

6:20 PM, November 08, 2006  
Blogger valis said...

I like the Dharma and Greg reference. We never watched that show much. I prefer escapism in my entertainment and sometimes that show seemed too much like our personal reality!

It was great to see your family last week. Hopefully we can all get together again soon. Lisa is dying to see the baby.

8:07 AM, November 09, 2006  
Blogger wordsonwater said...

Words fail me, and I am all about words. The prose is beautiful, but the passion behind it is something to behold. I wish for you both to live forever in that playground, safe within each other from a world where too many people are desperately lonely.

1:12 PM, November 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Validation as I have never had it before: a link on your site. The more I read your blog and the comments you leave, the more I think we are made of the same mettle. More than ever, I wished we lived in closer proximity.

5:36 PM, November 11, 2006  
Blogger valis said...

Thanks to you both for the kind words. It's nice to be "gotten" if only by a handful of folks in the big ole world. Especially by people who's opinions you respect.

7:07 PM, November 11, 2006  
Blogger Rainbow dreams said...

This is so beautiful I cried.
"we each had a hand to hold to tightly" sums up marriage to me.
Wishing you lots more time playing together.
I did wander this way from your comment on your wife's blog - am pleased to find you

6:47 AM, November 12, 2006  

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