Today is our wedding anniversary. We typically celebrate it twice; once as a couple, J and I, and again as a family. Seven years ago J and I married and we began our journey together as parents. We had a formal wedding in our church. It was small, about 50 guests and everyone was seated on the church chancel. J’s uncle, a catholic priest, co-celebrated with a priest from our Episcopal church. It was bilingual. The gospel, the story of Jesus at the wedding at Cana , was read in Spanish, and the homily based on that gospel, was said in English. Before we exchanged our vows, J surprised me and read again, his original poem he read the night he proposed in Central Park . The poem was inspired by Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, and a full copy of it is framed along with a photo taken right after he proposed, hangs in our bedroom. I cried when he read it in Central Park and I cried when he read it again at our wedding. J, very gallantly, whipped out his handkerchief during the wedding and dabbed my eyes.
When we exchanged our vows and rings, we also exchanged vows with the kids. I made promises to care for O and E, and he made promises to care for N. We gave each other our rings, and we gave each of our kids a silver pendent which depicted two parents circling three kids in an embrace. It was a very special day. We invited everyone at our wedding to celebrate the Eucharist with us. J and I served wine and J’s uncle and our priest handed out the bread and blessed anyone who wanted it. I felt God’s grace extend upon us and our new family that day.
After the ceremony we headed out to a local restaurant and ate a wonderful meal. The entire day sped by, but it wasn’t’ a blur to me. I remember so much of that day. Just thinking about it now makes me remember how joyful and sure I was of it all. Perhaps it was to prepare me and steel us against the demands of married life when it comes complete with three kids, and two ex-spouses. I read somewhere that it takes about 7 years for a family to “blend.” If that’s true, then I think it was a really good idea to get married when O, E and N were so young. While each age has presented its own challenges, the adolescent years have been the most trying. I am so glad that J and I have had all this time to work out some of the kinks in co-parenting, and that the kids have had this time to grow together as siblings, before the teen storms descended. I know that we will have many more stormy days ahead of us, but I am calmed knowing that I will weather them with my best friend and partner. And I know that we will have many more joyful years ahead of us, and I am happy knowing that I will enjoy them with my husband and my crazy family. Most of all, I know that I will continue to experience God’s grace through all of it. Happy Anniversary, Amor de me Vida.