Thursday, June 10, 2010

Four Years and Countless Lifetimes...

On this very day four years ago, I married my best friend. I have never regretted it. Together, we have faced down death - I have known what it is like to hold my husband under the stars at night and wonder if this night will be our last? - and disaster, heartache and hardship. Our love has come out ever the stronger for it, and I don't believe that is something that many couples today can truthfully say. The best piece of advice I ever received was from a mentor who said, "Be each other's best friend." We have taken these words to heart. We are the other's confidant, strength, and place of peace, and at the end of the day, there is no one I would rather be with.

What most people today don't seem to realize is that it is not the wedding day that counts, but rather the shared life that comes after it...

Though it may be a "mere" four years now, I look forward to celebrating my 50-year anniversary and beyond with my husband!

And now, in celebration of this very special day, here are the wedding vows I wrote and said to my love:

My Dearest Ryan –

They say that they built train tracks through the Alps long before there was ever a train that could make the journey. In that same manner, I fashioned the tracks of my life, long before there was ever a man who could make the trip with me.
In truth, I never thought that I would find you. I searched for you for SO long – looking in all of the wrong places – desperately trying to ease that aching loneliness that always existed in the dark recesses of my heart. I yearned for you from the moment I realized that my life was missing something; yet deep down, I also knew that I was not ready. I had so much growing and learning to do. I had to lay down my tracks. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and all things work out in the end. Instead of fighting life for what I felt I SHOULD be doing, I threw my arms up, and let the wind push me along my path. My path led to Utah – to YOU. I have lived here going on four years, my darling, and in that time I have seen and done so much. Throughout my life I have been laying down my train tracks, but only in these past four years, have I truly been able to discover myself; been truly able to say, “I am nearing completion.” As you know, I spent the last two years past in almost virtual seclusion from the outside (social & dating) world. I focused my energies inward, and finally, about two months before I met you, I began to feel a change. This change was in part influenced my mentors around me, but mainly by my own self. Finally, I prayed that I might find you, and for the first time, I knew that I was indeed ready – my track line was ready for a train. For two months nothing happened, and I worried that no one had heard me. Then, lo and behold, on the world’s best blind date, *SMACK* there you were. We literally did run right into each other, at least as far as that attempted first kiss is concerned! J From the moment I laid eyes upon you, I knew that you were different. There was a level of comfort and knowing that, having just met you, I had no right to feel. I knew your thoughts before you voiced them, and knew YOU better than you knew yourself. And the even more amazing part was that the same held true for you. You understood me on levels that even I did not comprehend. It was as though I had spent my whole life fumbling around in the dark, and finally you came along and turned on the lights. You lit up my world, and I truly knew what it meant to be ALIVE. How can I ever repay this great gift that you have given me? You took my poor, broken heart – stomped on and abused by so many – and you not only patched it up, YOU MADE IT WHOLE. Oh Ryan, my heart and soul, words cannot describe how I feel about you. I now understand why the Jews and Muslims have 900 names for God; one small word just isn’t enough for love. I stand before you today to keep a promise that was made before time began. I love you now, as I have loved you always. And I love you now, as I will love you forever. I will stand by you, in the good times and the bad, as I understand that everything in life runs in cycles. I will never desert you; I will be that shoulder that you lean on; I will be that other half that, until now, you could never find but always knew existed. I will be so close, that our hearts will beat as one. So close, that when you close your eyes, I fall asleep. I love you, Ryan.

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