Today, November 6th, was Katherine and my 4th wedding anniversary. As I walked Katherine back from an early morning trip to the bathroom, I rigged our wedding DVD to start playing at the bridal procession. After a few seconds, the strains of “Trumpet Voluntary” ignited memories in Katherine’s mind, sending a sweet, crooked smile across her face. I knew that Katherine’s “procession” this morning, though in a bathrobe with her eye patched, was far more beautiful than her walk down the aisle on our wedding day.
We continued to slowly make our way back to the bed, in the now familiar, swaying dance/walk that we find ourselves in every day now. Memories of how we danced to the band for hours at our reception came racing back. Even if we won’t be dancing that way for a while still, I get to lead my wife in a new kind of dance all the time. Instead of a soulful band singing classic oldies, we often “dance” to sad songs, people yelling, or James crying, but the times that we hear those carefree songs, people cheering, or James laughing are the most exquisite dances imaginable.
We lay in bed watching the wedding DVD before getting ready for our day of therapy. The two people on the screen were so young, so innocent. In just four years, those two people now find themselves at a neuro rehabilitation hospital in Pomona, CA. The bride, though now unable to walk herself down any aisle or clearly speak her wedding vows or eat her beloved wedding cake, is somehow, impossibly more radiant now than she was then. Now, she glows with the light of new life. Those two giddy newlyweds are still in here, somewhere deep down. We’ve been battered, but we are not broken. We’ve experienced things that two 26 year olds should never have to experience, but we’ve also been filled to overflowing by the immeasurable blessings of our Lord. Nothing on this journey is wasted.
My Dad performed our wedding ceremony. As we listened to his words preceding the vows, we could not help but transport ourselves back to the moments on that altar. My Dad spoke of the inevitable storms of life, and the necessity of building our home on the rock-solid foundation of Christ. How could we have ever imagined what our lives would be like less than 4 years later? This huge storm has swept over our home, threatening to take it all away, but by the grace of God, our little home is still here. I could not be more proud of the family that remains.
These days, grasping at normalcy or reminiscing on the old life most often brings a cold reminder that things are not as they used to be. Sadness can often overshadow what were once celebratory occasions, but not today because on this day of remembering our sacred vows of marriage, things are just as they were promised to be.