“For better or worse, in sickness and in health.” I can barely see the screen through my tears right now thinking of those vows. The vows I exchanged with Justin, my aunt with my uncle and my grandmother and grandfather and many others.
It was late at night and the lights were turned off. I don’t know why the darkness stands out so much in my mind, but as we stood on the porch the conversation got more awkward and then it turned into silence. The darkness was all that I could comprehend. What did I say or do? Did I read the situation wrong? We were joking and then…I don’t know what happened. So, I took that as my queue to say good night and got in my car and drove off.
In the few seconds driving away, I replayed every last word that was said trying to put the pieces together. It was in those moments that I realized I liked him a lot, and it was already over. So, I turned the car around. It may sound cliché, but had I not made that Lifetime Channel dramatic return, that probably would have been the last we saw of each other. A boyfriend that never would have become my husband. The end of us before we even started.
My whole life I have been the little grand baby sent to bed before the grownups poured their cocktails or conversations became too grownup for little ears to hear. So, to have my grandfather sit across from me and ask how about my marriage felt good. We talked about how there are so many things in life you just can control that will impact your marriage. Somehow not only have we made it through, but Justin and I love each other even more with every single day. He said that’s exactly how he felt about my grandmother. He leaned over with his face in his hands and cried, he misses her so much. Until that moment, I had never seen him cry.
I don’t know why this scenario has been heavy on my heart, but I wondered if my aunt decided leave her husband’s bedside for milk or bread or whatever, would the people in her path be kind to her. Would the cashier say “have a nice evening” or the person in front of her hold the door open. Would a kind stranger know that yesterday, today and the next, she would the toughest, most painful she has ever experienced in her life and marriage?
Love is beautiful, amazing, and overwhelming. When you are dating and fall in love, you have no idea what forever looks like with this person. Will you wash and he dries the dishes? Go on tropical vacations together? Will this be the man pushing you in a wheelchair to Labor and Delivery at warp speed? Will the years you share be so absolutely indescribable that any heartache and pain of watching them take their last breath be worth the chance to share those ten, twenty, thirty years with them?
As I think of what my grandmother and grandfather shared and my aunt and uncle have, I’m glad I turned my car around that night. I’m glad that Justin’s the one by my side for better or worse, in sickness and in health.