Most people remember every minute of their wedding day. I’m one of them. I remember my Dad being discharged from the hospital one day before, and myself wondering if he’d even make it to walk me down the aisle. I remember the Lenten banners adorning the front of the church – one begging forgiveness, because we know not what we do. I remember my head yanking backwards on my way back up the aisle after Mass when my veil got snagged on the door into the gathering space at the back of the church. I remember my mother-in-law yelling across the dance floor because something wasn’t to her liking.
And I remember the dimples.
For every second of that day that I spent with a concerned thought in my head, when I looked over at Jim, he was smiling a huge smile, highlighting the gorgeous dimples that I knew from our very first date I would be seeing for the rest of my life. And I knew that no matter what was going wrong in that moment, the big picture would always be all right.
24 years later, it’s always all right. I look over at that handsome face every time I feel worry, or hurt, or despair. When I don’t see the dimples, I see the man who has seen me through the loss of my sister and both of my parents. He saw me through five miscarriages and the premature birth of one of my children. He saw me through moves away from my family and moves back home when most of my friends had moved on and forgotten about me. He has lifted me up through job losses and encouraged me through job changes. Every day he makes me feel like I can conquer the world, and every night he makes sure I know that even if I’ve chickened out, I am loved and valued.
When I look at our group wedding picture, as I scan the faces on the steps of the Church with us, a bit of sadness creeps in. We’ve lost so many of the people we loved the most. But then I get to that face and those dimples, and I know that through life’s biggest challenges and greatest celebrations, I made the best decision I will ever make on March 9, 1991.
Happy Anniversary, Jim.