So I cast my mind back over the years…The storms we weathered, the fears we conquered. I look at the opportunities we ignored, the deadlines we narrowly missed. I look at those Oh – My – God did – you – see – that moments- those rare suns that set as we watched; those times we made moody children laugh; those times I temporarily overcame my fear of dogs; that time when a fish we thought I’d killed jersey to life on the chopping board. I remember when we walked down dark alleys, when the fear crept on us like a cold blanket and I had to look braver than I actually felt; I remember how the AC in my car only worked when you were inside; how your sick battery always held on till we finished talking.
I remember the flutters I felt every time you hugged me; I remember the moment when I told my Mom I was sure you were the one. I remember the sleepless nights I tossed, thinking of what to say when I needed to say it. I remember forcing my friends into the studio to record a last minute song, and how my voice was croaky cos I was excited. I remember how you were nodding along as the song played in that restaurant while we ate, and how you wondered who did it…and the utter shock on your face when you heard your name repeated 12 times in the chorus.
I remember the squeal that escaped from your throat as you leapt across the table and knocked me to the floor with the weight of your crushing hug. I remember the amusement on the faces of the other patrons as you squealed “yes, yes, yes” before I got a chance to reach into my pockets. I remember the laughter when I belatedly gasped “will…you…mmmarryyy me“. I remember the dazzling, angelic glow of your face as I passed out from all the blood oozing out of my head where it bumped into the tile floor.
I remember waking up to your worried smile, as you sat dutifully by my hospital bed. I remember being so grateful you didn’t call my mum. I remember you insisting on hugging me right there. I remember you pressed the remote to adjust the bed and ended up falling OFF. I remember how the nurses rushed to your aid and found out you sprained your leg…freak accident.
I remember the one week we spent trying to get better. I remember how I teased you when you cried about the injections, how you wept like a baby when the nurses gave you a massage. I remember how we competed who could swallow pills faster. I remember how we turned off our phones so we wouldn’t take worried calls from our friends who hadn’t seen us in 5 days.
Now I’m standing here at this altar, looking at you in that dress we designed together. I can see your parents beaming with pride as they give out yet another daughter. I can see my mother smiling sadly because she knows she’s lost me to my new family. I’m looking down down at a long road I never want to end.
You have loved me when I had nothing but dreams. You have loved me when I had everything but financial prudence. You have loved me when work threatened to suck me down. You have loved me in health and in sickness. I can’t promise you that I’ll be perfect, that I’ll make all your dreams come true. But what I can say is this- I will love you when things are rosy. I will love you when babies change your shape. I will love you when our children take more of your time and I get none. I will love you when money knocks like a thief in the night. I will love you when my family demands more attention than I can afford. I will love you when our bodies start to sag, when memories start to fade. I will love you with my last breath.
I’m glad I married you