Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary, My Love
Today is our 5th wedding anniversary and I didn’t cover nearly half the topics I wanted to document during Our Wedding Story blog series. I’ll likely continue it to make sure our memories of past can be cherished in the future. Today, since it is actually our wedding anniversary, I want to remember our ceremony – the moment we became one in front of our family and friends.
Like I do with almost everything, I pained myself with the details of the ceremony. At first, we wanted D’s dad to officiate the service (he was a pastor in California), but there were too many hoops to jump through. He found a Southern Christian minister to officiate instead who was the perfect blend of Daddy D’s roots and my religious limbo.
We had a string duo play traditional wedding melodies, but the main reason I wanted them there was to play Leo Brouwer’s Afro-Cubano Lullaby (the link will take you to YouTube, in case you want to hear the song by a guitarist. It is truly a magically, beautiful tune). I was really nervous before the wedding. Like really nervous. My nerves calmed slightly when I saw D, but only when I heard the strings begin to play the Afro-Cubano Lullaby did I really calm down.
My Dad walked me down the aisle. I’m surprised that I didn’t break his wrist because I was literally squeezing his hand as hard as I could. As soon as I turned the corner, I saw D and worked hard to hold back the tears. I love the picture above of my sister scoping out D’s reaction, while my best friend’s eye were squarely on me. I love these two girls.
Once I got to my soon-to-be husband, I relaxed a bit. Do you see my thumb holding his knuckles? I rubbed and rubbed those knuckles during the ceremony because I was that nervous – we still joke about that moment. D, who is very familiar with attention, smiled the whole time, never letting go. That’s what I love most about my husband – I can be freaking out, and he is smiling away, letting me slowly remember that life really isn’t that serious and to just relax. As long as he’s there, everything is alright.
I hardly remember reciting our vows, but they were the traditional ones. We (meaning me) opted not to write our vows. I think it is very cool to write your own, and become a union under the words and offerings you create as individuals, but I am a sucker for tradition. All my life I have heard those vows at others ceremonies or on television, and I wanted to experience that. Our wedding story started with the same traditional vows that so many great marriages before us started, and that makes me proud. I also struggled with whether we should remove the controversial word “obey” from our vows. Should spouses “obey” each other?
Ultimately, we left it there. In our 5 years of marriage, there have been moments where, in order to progressive and evolve as a couple, one or the other had to succumb and obey. Neither of us is perfect, and sometimes we have to trust the others guidance to move forward. I am a proud, strong woman, teetering on feminist, and I see nothing wrong with obeying Daddy D in moments where I lack. There is no one else in this world that I can say that about. I trust him. I know myself. And yes, I obey him. As he obeys me.
When we had to walk around to face our guests and light our unity candle also garnered some nervousness. I had heels on, walking in a gown, messing with fire (I was shaking like a maraca) and a wonderful Vegas breeze upon us, and I was nervous. It went well, and I loved our pastors message as we lit the candles that now decorate our home. I was happy to have made time in our ceremony for this symbolic moment.
Months before, I had asked my best friend to read a poem from my favorite author, Maya Angelou. She read Touched by an Angel, which I feel is a beautiful depiction of our journey as a couple. Jess and I have known each other since freshman year and English Honor 1 – we are used to breaking down poems, finding symbolism and meaning to small details. (I plan to do that exercise with our Maya Angelou poem for this series.) While Jess was reading the poem, I finally lost control of my tears. It meant so much to me that she read it; hearing my best friend’s comforting voice while she perfectly recited it was just too much. I snuggled into my husband’s embrace, grateful that our guests couldn’t see my face, and just cried. Thank you forever, Jess.
When we were finally pronounced man and wife, it was like I could finally breathe. The moment was surreal. For better or worse, my legacy would forever be united with this man.
Thank you for these last 5 years – even for the hard parts that have led us to today, a place where I feel more whole and more happy than I have ever felt before. You are an outstanding father and steadfast provider and so forgiving of my shortcomings. You see my strengths and celebrate them. I could not be who I am without you. The unconditional love you have shown me since the very first day we met almost 10 years ago has been unlike anything I have experienced. I will never let that go.
Everyday you leave for work, I say a silent prayer to God to keep you safe. The kids and I would be lost without you. You are cherished and adored.
I love you, Papi Chulo. You will always be my main dude.