Today is our eleventh wedding anniversary. The traditional gift for the eleventh anniversary is steel. Steel symbolizes strength and sturdiness. How fitting is it, then, that it is the first anniversary of the second decade of a marriage?
I thought I would honor our anniversary by sharing some of our wedding photos and telling you a little story about us and how we ended up saying “I do” eleven years ago. First, I have to tell you a little about the road we traveled to get there. Ours wasn’t what I would say is a traditional path.
When I was a freshman in high school, my father was transferred to Michigan, so my parents packed us up and moved us across the country. They chose this really tiny town, population zero. At least, that’s how it felt moving from the hustle and bustle of Plano, Texas to the slow paced quiet of Richmond.
Clark was one of the first people I connected with when I started my new (tiny) high school. We quickly became friends and spent many hours together over the years. When my son was young, I moved back to Texas for a while. Clark and I lost touch.
Shortly after moving back to Michigan, I saw him driving through town. Ironically, it was Sweetest Day. I still remembered his parents phone number, so I took a chance that they would at least give him the message if I called. He called me back later that same day.
It started with just hanging out again. It wasn’t long before we were dating. My son and I moved in with him pretty quickly after that. Time and time again, we broke up and got back together. It seemed that no matter how we tried to stay apart, life always brought us back together, again.
Over the years, Clark had suggested that we should get married. He never actually proposed, just brought it up in casual conversation. I usually just laughed and changed the subject. I really wasn’t sure about the whole marriage thing.
We’d been together for about five years when we found out we were pregnant with our daughter. She came seven weeks early. It was while we were in the NICU visiting our daughter that we made the commitment to marry. The hospital administration had brought us paperwork to fill out. I looked over at him and said “I guess we should get married now.”
After we left our daughter that day, we headed to the jewelry store and bought our wedding set. During the course of the next few days, I learned what we needed to do to be married. We obtained our license and set an appointment at the courthouse. Just two weeks after our daughter was born, on the day after she came home from the hospital, we were married in a small ceremony.
Granny and my younger sister were our witnesses. Our son, who was eight at the time, was our photographer. My husband took me to be his “awfully” wedded wife that day. (He blames the Freudian slip on nerves, lol.)
Admittedly, our marriage hasn’t been perfect, and there were times that I really was that awfully wedded wife. There were many times over the past eleven years that we honestly didn’t think we were going to make it through, and certainly not together. Yet, here we are, celebrating eleven wonderfully rocky years.
Happy anniversary, honey. I am excited to see what the coming years bring. With you by my side, I know we can make it through anything. I love you more than words can express.