Monday, August 07, 2006

The somewhat cheery anniversary post you've all been waiting for

Yes, Marcel's dad is still in the hospital. Yes, he had a heart attack and we are all somewhat subdued in this household. Even Maddie - our normally cheerful one - was a little out of sorts after seeing her Pépère in a hospital bed. We're still waiting for further prognosis, but surgery may be necessary. Thank you all for your kind words and your prayers.

So this post will not be as lighthearted as I might have hoped. But here goes anyway...

Thirteen years ago, on one of the only sunny days in an otherwise rainy, dreary summer, we said "I do" in front of the people we loved most. Were we blissfully happy and in the middle of a great fairy-tale love? No, I wouldn't say so. Did we commit ourselves to each other believing we would always feel passionately in love and that we would never want to kick each other's butt? No, probably not. BUT... Did we believe that we loved each other enough to spend the rest of our lives together, that we were committed enough to each other that we would pour all the energy we could muster into making our marriage work, and that we would walk together through whatever raging rivers life put across our paths? Yes. Definitely.

I loved him then, and I love him ten times as much now. He makes me laugh, he challenges me, he makes me want to be smarter, he teaches me things, he knows how to be tender, and I wouldn't want to go through life without him. We have our challenges, we're not always kind to each other, and there are times when we can't seem to communicate properly, but we are committed to a lifetime together. Even in the darkest of times, I know I would rather be with him than without him. Our journey together has taken us through some rough spots, and each time we survive, we emerge a little stronger than before.

When we said our vows, we didn't promise each other a lifetime of bliss. We promised loyalty and love. We promised friendship and support. We promised the things we knew we could deliver, and then, when we can, we throw in the extras that make a marriage worth working at.

Today, I was reminded once again that when you marry someone, you also marry their family. I'm not only committed to Marcel, I'm committed to his family too. So how did we spend our anniversary? Well, in the morning, we spent it picking peas, beans, and corn in Marcel's dad's garden with most of the family. As he lay in his hospital bed, one of his first concerns was for his garden. To put his mind at ease, we took care of the garden before we visited him again. It's what family does. I wouldn't have it any other way. It turned out to be a great little moment of bonding and caring for him in the garden that is so dear to his heart.

And as I sat in the hospital room, I was reminded of why marriage is worth committing to. In a rare tender moment, Marcel's mom reached over and brushed her husband's cheek and then laid her hand on his arm. In the 16 years I've known them, I've almost never seen them show any sign of affection, and yet I know that their love runs deep. They have their problems, just like we all do, but when the road gets rough, they have each other.

In 32 years, I hope I can still reach up to brush the cheek of the man I love.


schoolboy said...

I wouldn't have wanted to share the good times and the bad with anybody else. Thanks for being my best friend and my lover.
I love you today more than a did 13 years ago, and I will pobably love you more in 32 years from now.


Gina said...

Happy, happy anniversary to you both!

And again, prayers for Marcel's father for a speedy recovery and hopefully no surgery.

Stephanie said...

Happy Anniversary!

And what a sweet comment from your husband. How blessed are you both!

Liz said...

Happy anniversary to you and Marcel, Heather! And I'm sending good vibes your way for your father-in-law and your whole family.

Dale said...

Your father-in-law is being cared for. His garden is being tended. And you're in love with someone who loves you too.

How can it get better than that?

Happy Anniversary, vous deux!

Linda said...

Happy Anniversary!

Janet said...

I can't say it any better than Dale did.

I'm reading this at work, and a few tears are rolling down my cheeks. Wow. It's lovely.

We will continue to pray for your father-in-law.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to report that I believe that my marriage of only 7 months now is for all the right reasons, as yours to Marcel is. I never thought I'd find someone who makes me so happy...and complements me so well. I have. And I can't imagine riding the rollercoaster of life with anybody else.

We are BOTH lucky women!



Glenda said...

Wow Heather, just caught up on your last few blogs. So sorry to hear about Marcel's dad. Praying that things go ok and through whatever needs to be done, he'll be restored to health. Hang in there....and congrats on your anniversary too. You guys are so blessed to have eachother. Thanks for reminding us all that the work of a relationship is so worth it.

Anonymous said...

i don't really know you.. but as a passer by, i would like to let you know how happy i am for you to be so blessed. :) continue loving ur family and your husband.. you two look cute together. :) sweet couple. :) stay strong and lovable. :)

Simply Coll said...

Wishing you a happy anniversary. The photos are wonderful. You look so young and so happy.

So very sorry to learn of your father-in-law's heart attack. I hope all goes well for him.

Toasty said...

I think you maybe shared one of your most beautiful anniversaries ever... taking care of family, loving each other in hard times.
Big prayers for you and your family.

Karla said...

What a beautiful post Heather. You have a way of writing beautiful and touching posts!

I think this is the first time ever that I have heard someone else use the term Pépère. Everyone always looked at me funny when I refered to my mom's parents as Pépère and Mémère, so I just started calling them Grandma and Grandpa when talking to other people.

My thoughts are with your family.