Last week’s Facebook status update suggestion to upload photos of our early days with our Love made me want to go find my wedding memory book. It’s the kind of fill-in the blank book with pages for recording how you met, ancestry, pre-wedding events, and wedding guest signatures. I have several items tucked into it, including the sheets of paper on which Robert wrote what he had said at our wedding.
I had typed out my little speech on a yellow sheet of paper and read from it, quietly and emotionally when it was my turn during our wedding ceremony.
Robert, let me begin by telling you, in front of our family and friends, that you are everything I ever dreamed of as a husband, a lover, and a friend. I am confident in our long-lasting love and happiness.
I feel very fortunate to have found such love. I hope I will always show my thankfulness and love for you every day, just as you show your love for me in many ways. I see your love for me in the way you look at me tenderly. I feel your love in your hands during those often-requested back-rubs. I hear the love in your words when you ask me how my day was or share a story with me. Early in our courtship, I wrote in my journal, “Love is feeling so good that you think you could run 130 miles to give your sweetheart a goodnight kiss.”
I believe our marriage has already begun developing a strong foundation. We have encouraged each other and laughed and cried together. We accept each other as we are. Our relationship is trusting and faithful. We enjoy “meaningful discussions” which are so important.
Here are some things I promise, in order to enrich our marriage:
I will be your partner as we take on the tasks of married life.
I will listen to you attentively, just as you listen to me.
I will be by your side whether you’re laughing or crying.
I will always believe in you, your strength, and your love.
I will be your partner in raising our children.
I will always think of you.
I will continue to be independent AND open-minded.
I think my favorite quote describes our love: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” Robert, I am proud to declare my love and join you in marriage.
Robert is more confident with public speaking and only thought about what he wanted to say beforehand. Being the memory keeper that I am, after our wedding I asked him to write down what he had said. He didn’t know I would someday be using his writing in a scrapbook page, so it’s not very neat, and it is scrawled on a sheet of notepaper from a printing business in Beverly Hills. But he never writes neatly anyway, and I like the scribbled out parts, showing additional thoughts he was considering.
Here is what he wrote:
I have always looked at life as a journey — one in which the road is usually more important than the destination. This has been my outlook on life since I was a child so that no matter where I was or how long I was there, I always felt that I’d be moving on sooner or later. There was no such thing as permanence and for a while that was okay. However, as time went on I would occasionally come to a place where the road seemed to lead nowhere, where my destination was vague, and the past was little more than a dream.
I felt like I was drifting in and out of other people’s lives, a minor player, an itinerant character filling a role where needed, then movingon. I felt lonely. I was homesick … and yet I had no idea where “home” was.
When I first met you I was prepared to be only a temporary fixture in your life. Even after I kissed you I was thinking this cannot last, she’ll grow tired of me soon enough. But you let me into your life, and I found it easy to let you into mine. You loved me more honestly and completely than I’ve ever experienced. No matter what road I travel, I know I can always turn to you, and I’m not alone. You made me feel at home. For this, and many other reasons, I pledge my love to you, now and forever.
These are only the 2nd and 3rd scrapbook pages I’ve made of photos from early in our relationship. I will someday put together a wedding album. I chose a fantastic photographer. Of course. That was my job. Robert’s job was selecting the band and music, naturally. The photographer (whose name I ought to look up and put here!) was also a sports photographer, and I think that made him better at candids and action shots, the kinds of photos I prefer. He was also very generous. He gave me all the negatives and many extra prints beyond the package I had selected. I didn’t scrapbook any of them though. They are all in two albums with paper and plastic sleeves. I’m starting to work on it now though.