The irony of pledging our lives to one another on Independence Day revealed itself slowly over the years.
A powerful love awakened what felt like super powers. Of course we would live a lifetime together, no matter the bets of some who thought otherwise.
Dan enjoyed highlighting the benefits of choosing July 4th to marry: You always have the day off; the whole country celebrates your special day with fireworks; and you’ll never forget your wedding anniversary!
We did not know the harsh ways of life when we promised our love over a lifetime.
During a formative time, we learned some things that helped such as seeing “love” as an active verb. Love as a decision. We can choose to love even when being right felt more important than being in relationship. So often this tiny phrase moved us from stalemate to possibility.
On anniversaries when someone noted our years together I retorted “fingers crossed for one more year!” The words do not reference the separation that comes from the physical state of dying; rather, they hint at the fearsome truth that the flame of our love is not guaranteed. Making the decision to love over hours, days, weeks, months, and years, cannot be promised with certainty.
The hard work of our marriage, as two opposites, was worked out literally one day at a time. When we were in the hell of illness I sometimes wondered about the ironic possibility that our marriage might not make it until death do us part. Many decisions to love were required. The loving hands and hearts around us brought respite during those difficult times; a chance to take a breath and decide to love in the midst of the challenge.
I feel strangely alone as I sit just hours before July 4, 2021 in one of those moments where his permanent absence is undeniable.
I place their
in my belly
He will not be here
to enjoy the sandwich.
The clock turned just now.
It’s 12:04 am on the Fourth of July.
I’ve made a decision.
I’ve decided that this journey of ours
Our form may be changed.
Our physical locations may be different.
In the same way
when we first said, “I do,”
we don’t know
will all work out.
I love you, babe.