I look back on my wedding day seven years ago and I remember seeing a flash of white. The flash belonged to the flower girl’s dress as she was darting around outside in the grass, waving her basket of flowers in the air, completely free and peaceful and perfect. I remember watching her as I bit off pieces of flesh from my fingers and waited for the cue that my life is ready to be forever changed.
Just like that. The music started. The people stood. And I walked towards my new life as a wife.
There were flowers, poofy dresses, and beautiful ocean views. But I didn’t need any of that.
We recited the words. Slowly, chewing on each one before grabbing a bite of the next.
“I will love you all the days of my life.”
“Forsaking all others.”
“I thee wed.”
We kissed under a canopy of fragrant flowers, shared our most intimate and prized moment with 200 of our closest friends, and then rode away in a blur of magic and glitter from the sun.
I don’t remember too much of the wedding day. It was pomp and circumstance. There were people there we didn’t know. There was food that we didn’t eat. Choices about that day that we didn’t make.
It was like when you eat at a fancy restaurant and you grab the wrong fork, and you spill your water, because you put it where your wine glass should go, and now there’s water on your bread plate, and it’s dripping down your ankle and filling your shoe.
Our wedding was uncomfortable, everyone was looking at me and waiting for us to put on dazzling display of love and affection. But that wasn’t us.
Put your hand here.
Tilt your face this way.
Smile for pete’s sake, it’s your wedding day!
We were tiny babes. Only pretending to be adults.
We fooled them all. Signing our names on legal documents and kissing during the sunset only made us feel taller and mature, but really we were children.
The night of our wedding was where the true magic was.
No. Well, that was good too.
But I’m talking about the easy, soft way the day melted into night, because there was no more pressure, no more people to please, it was just us.
We ordered pizza from room service that cost $150.00, we walked on the beach hand in hand, we talked, we laughed, we made plans that involved our big ideas on life.
Those plans later dissolved and life happened instead.
After two babies and a whole lot of life happening, we still remain. We still laugh. We still walk on the beach, our hands still meet in the middle, and we still make plans. Big plans. But I have a feeling life will get in the way again, just like it always does.
But in between the big stuff, lies the tiny details, the parts filled with driving down the highway, and “Girlfriend in a Coma” comes on the radio, and we both sing softly, maybe humming, and my hand chases the breeze out the window, and you smile at your reflection in the side mirror, and then I make a fist to catch the wind, and our eyes meet briefly. It’s in those moments, that I feel like that flower girl.
Free. Peaceful. Perfect.
Happy Anniversary Patrick. I love you more than the day we married, because you are so much more than the day we married. I look at this life we created and it’s all pretty astounding.