Sunday morning Steve and the boys and I headed to his mothers church for 8:30 mass. It was interesting as her church building has become home to a new church affiliated with the Lebanese Catholic Church know as Maronite Catholic. The service is similar to those we have been to in the past, but also, different.
The reason we were here this morning was wonderful. Steve’s mom and dad had their vows renewed during the mass. Their Father was wonderfully accommodating, and even had Steve and his brother and sister serve as witnesses. The “ceremony” during mass was to bless their marriage, and renew their vows. It was beautiful to be a witness to.
This did not originally register with me, but then Steve’s dad said something unique. He was excited about it being his wedding day, and said “how amazing that (she) got to be married in her church with her pastor? I feel so blessed.” What an amazing testament to love. He was so excited about how happy she was that he was talking about the day like it was hers. Let’s be honest, it was. She was the bride, she planned it, she asked the priest, she did the leg work. He was happy to do it for her. For them.
I will be honest, vow renewals have never been something that I thought highly of. I just had this naive concept that if you were married, you were married. Why did you need another party? I was wrong. so wrong. Vow renewal is important to couples who have been together a long time, couples who have renewed their love for each other, been through a tragedy and seen the love that supported them through it. It is a testament to love, a testament to marriage that lasts. A testament to family.
After the ceremony we ate at Steve’s mother’s house and like a typical Sunday, there was a lot of food! while we snacked, we were watching old home videos. My father -in-law is king of the video camera. He captured everything from lazy Sunday afternoons, to holidays, to special events, to sporting events, to family fun. One of those special events was my wedding.
Stephen and I have been married for almost 13 years. I have NEVER seen a video of our wedding ceremony. EVER!!! so on this Sunday afternoon, we were watching Steve’s brother use the toilet, and then, in a blink, it was our wedding. Me in my pearly bow dress, Steve in a tux and a tiny goatee (no beard like today) and hair. It was a snippet of our day, but I cried, I sobbed, I was so emotional over a day, in our history.
And I was reminded why I love him, why I stay when things get rough, why we fight for us. Every member of Steve’s family said what a beautiful ceremony it was, and what party we had after. How nice it was to be together with everyone. We had over 200 guests, and over half were his family. As I watched the part of the ceremony where Steve wiped a tear from my eye before kissing me, I remembered it, like it had just happened. How I was embarrassed and in love in that one moment.
I know we are blessed to be together, blessed to have a love that has lasted even this long, and what a blessing it is to be a couple who fights for each other through it all. Even when times get rough, I remember this:
And I remember why, and I am willing to keep fighting.
Love your loved ones while they are here. The videos we watched had many happy memories. They also included many family members and friends who have gone before. These moments made the whole day come into perspective. The moments we have, the love we share, and the people we are blessed with are never a guarantee.