I walked down that aisle with no hesitation, no quivering of soul or lips.
When the pastor presented us as Mr. and Mrs., I was overwhelmed with a deep-seated enduring joy. Not superficial happiness, mind you, but a serious sort of happiness in knowing that I was right where I should be. Tim Sheaffer was - is - everything I ever wanted.
People warned us that our first year of marriage would be hard. We moved into a 300sqft apartment in married housing on a university campus. We had just enough stuff to fit in our jeep - a love seat, white dishes, and a plaid comforter. Every day, I woke up and looked over as if in a dream. To say that we were over the moon would be a grievous understatement.
We still hear people refer to marriage as being "hard."
Indeed, that language is such an ingrained part of our culture that I'm not sure I'm even allowed to say this.
Being married isn't hard. Certainly, life itself is hard - replete with grief and pain, stress as we stretch ourselves to become more selfless. But marriage? Marriage is the buffer for those hard places, the shelter against the wind, the umbrella in the downpour, the hot soup for sore throats.
Marriage is a wonder, a miracle, a mystery. In marvelous synchrony, we live and move. He and I together. This is how it should be.
Without him, I wouldn't be me. As Pablo Neruda put it,
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Eleven years today and I wouldn't ever rewind.
I love you, Tim Sheaffer. More today than yesterday. More tomorrow than today. More, more, evermore.