It’s funny . . . last year on our wedding anniversary, I wrote something heartfelt about the ups and downs of marriage, about being naive and utterly clueless when you exchange vows about anything that life is going to throw at you. Although I was sincere in expressing a certain respect and reverence for the unknown of it all, still, I remember clearly at that time having this feeling that we had somehow arrived. That we had been tested as much as a couple could be tested, and we had faced it all down and come out of it as strong and sure as any couple could be. There was a certain, vague arrogance . . . like a vaccine, all the troubled waters we had bested had somehow made us immune to further strife.
And I look back a year now, and realize how naive I still was. Because the truth is, none of us ever gets to say that we’ve arrived. None of us ever knows what life is going to dish out next, and whether that helping of adversity might knock your feet out from under you.
I’m not here to complain or wallow in all the sadness and unfairness. Life is good, and rich, it truly, truly is. But it’s been a tough year. And with each passing year, I learn a little more about myself, about my husband, about marriage, about life. Happily Ever After is not a destination, or even a goal that is achievable. It’s a journey, a constant work in progress.
Michael gave me a card on our tenth wedding anniversary yesterday in which he wrote a beautiful, long poem. These words will dwell in my heart:
I think love may be like a well,
But it is not just for wishing upon,
Or to dip from;
It needs replenishing constantly,
And much tending to by its owners
In order for the well to run deep,
And remain deep.