“i will be mindful of the act of loving you every day of my life.
i will not take you for granted,
but will keep my eyes open to the treasure that you are,
allowing room for your individuality and your own uniqueness.
i will not try to bend you to my ways,
but rather open myself to your ways as being part of who you are.
i will embrace all of you.
the dark parts along with the light.
because, together, those parts create the being that i love.
i will accept you, respect you and admire you.
and if something comes between us to make me stumble with this,
i will go to you and ask your help with my struggle.
i will bring my challenges to you,
looking for your thoughts and support
and i will return that support to you freely.
when i'm hurt, i will believe in your love for me,
i will bring you my hurt,
and together we will grow from it and then put it aside.
i will share all of myself with you,
for i know to receive your entire heart,
you must have mine.
together, we will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will grieve,
and we will find our way.
together we will live gratitude
together we will touch love.”
Terri St. Cloud
Last night, on the eve of my 3rd wedding anniversary, I noticed that my mind kept replaying the horrible scene(s) we endured back then. Not the wedding or the promises we made to each other, but the ugly fight I had with Dad a couple weeks before. I don't know why I revisit the times and places that hurt so much, but I do. Memories surrounding my father are the warp and weft of my life. I can't have the whole cloth without weaving bits of good and bad, happy and sad, dark and light woven around each other.
I think it was Abraham Lincoln that said a person is only as happy as he chooses to be. I've taken issue with that statement since I first heard it. People who are clinically depressed do not "choose" to be unhappy and cannot "choose" to be happy. On a good day, they can strive for that and if they succeed it is cause for gratitude. What I can do today, however, when I think back at those days when I thought I was too broken to ever be put back together, is choose to remember the light in the cloth, not the shadow.
I remember trying to make a home in the Homestead Inn. My side of the efficiency suite looked like I felt. Sweetie's side was neat and orderly. His way of dealing with a crisis is to tackle the mess of it.
I remember feeling like the groundhog on Feb. 2. Whenever I peeked my head out from the covers I could feel the warmth of love surrounding me. And I remember that even as mad and hurt as I was, wanting to make sure Dad could feel the same thing.
I remember receiving the above bonesigh from my friend Terri, who knew what Sweetie and I wanted to say to each other, before we did.
I remember picking up a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers before driving to Welaka for our wedding. The ride was quiet, but the smell of roses took the edge off. "The light rain," said Sweetie, "is a sign that things will grow."
I remember Pastor Earl telling us, this is a "real" wedding. And his wife playing the only song she knew on the organ. On Eagle's Wings, traditionally a funeral song. It could have been a bad omen. Instead it was a confirmation of the Divine One's willingness to "lift us up" cause we sure couldn't get much further down.
On occasion I've wondered what life would have been like if things had gone the other way. It's impossible, however, to imagine my life without Sweetie in it.
Today I noticed that anniversaries are perfect times for reflecting. I look back on the nine years Sweetie and I have been together. I smile that the story of our meeting is soon to be published in Sasee Magazine. I see how far we've come, the obstacles we've overcome. I'm learning I don't need to try to control the future, when I'm holding my husband's hand.
I love you, Sweetie, more than all the sand in the Sahara Desert.