I’ve fallen in love… at least a million times. Thirty years ago today, I was rushing around, trying to sew up the last-minute details for our wedding. That wasn’t a cliché’-I really was sewing. Family tradition is for the bride to design and sew her gown and I’d gotten ambitious. Satin… chiffon… lace from Israel… It’s a good thing we had a long engagement. I also needed to stitch something else—a very special penny—to my shoe. (Because it wasn’t really a shoe. It was a sandal, and a penny would have fallen out.) One of those machines that flattens out and embosses a penny caught our attention on a date, so Chris and I saved it for The Big Day because it had the Lord’s Prayer on it.
Everything was as planned… and those things were all accomplished. It’s just that life throws surprises at you. I thought we were almost ready, but a bridesmaid showed up without her dress finished. Back to the sewing machine… Then there was a huge downpour the morning of our wedding day. California. Rain? ACK! My hair gets frizzy with humidity—as in Atomic Brillo pad. The Lord took pity on me and stopped the rain. The day was gorgeous—sunny, and with clear air. In California. That’s a miracle in and of itself. At the church, everything was ready. It was a candlelight ceremony—the entire sanctuary was filled with candles. Once Daddy gave me away, Grandpa took over. A minister, he officiated—but in his inimitable style, he made a mistake. He called Chris my brother-in-law’s name. He also guided me to put the wedding band on Chris’s right hand!
So thirty years later, life is still throwing surprises at us. Some have been terrifying storms that only later proved to have silver linings. Other surprises were delights and miracles… like the births of our daughter and son. We've changed. Chris lost his hair. I lost my waistline. It took twenty-six years, but I have my waist back. Chris hasn’t gotten his hair back.
But the truth is, I’ve fallen in love with my husband a million times… when we said our vows, when the wedding night we’d waited and waited and waited for finally came… when we had our first fight and wouldn’t go to bed until it was settled because we promised no to let the sun go down on our anger…. When he held me in labor and then held our baby daughter… and in those heart-stopping moments when our son arrived but wasn’t breathing.. when he set me in front of a computer and told me to become an author…
Though I write romance, the truth is, love and marriage are WORK. They are a daily choice. Am I committed? Will I put my all into this when I don’t want to give anything at all? Will I take offense? Am I going to keep my mouth shut when I have the perfect comeback? What is the priority? Is that where we ought to put our money? Can I get past this heart-stopping ache? Will I ever really get over that twinkle in his eye and anticipate the stunt he’s about to spring? Chris has made the choices day by day. I have too. And I have fallen in love at least a million times. Sometimes it was as easy as breathing. Sometimes falling in love was the hardest thing either of us ever did.
And that penny? We still have it because it is only by God’s grace and love that a marriage can succeed. We chose well... we chose one another and we chose "Savior, Like a Shepherd, Lead Us" to be sung when we took communion at the altar.
Love to you all,
Cathy and Chris
PS. We got married on February 2.
Chris has never forgotten our anniversary.
It's Ground Hog's Day.