Monthly Archives: December 2012

It’s Still My Anniversary

Little hands reach out from white sheets and a fluffy pink blanket. The pink blanket has silky edges and he pulls the corner to his lips, and looks into my face.  His eyes smile at me with pure joy and his mouth fills with laughter. A giggle escapes him. A giggle escapes me. We laugh back and forth, taunting one another with chuckles, chortles, and whatever other sounds fall into the category of ‘laughter’. We are resting, snuggled face to face, and I begin to feel tears creeping out. I blink them back. I kiss his cheeks and neck, over and over, again and again.

Oh little one, you are so precious. You are a gift, such a gift, and oh how my heart is filled with you on this day. Someday I will tell you what this date, December 30th, means to me, but today I will hold you and enjoy watching your delight in exploring this world.

My husband of two and a half years, having heard our laughter, smiles at us through the doorway. Oh, what a good man. Thank you, God. Thank you for him….  How my life has changed in seven years.

Vows can be broken, but I don’t believe they are ever forgotten. I made vows of forever on a rainy, December evening, and I think about that night often. I think about significant moments.

  • My mom helping me slip into my wedding dress
  • My almost-husband’s tears when he saw me for the first time
  • My smiling bridesmaids so full of hope for the future
  • My dad praying with me before he walked me down the aisle
  • Taking communion with my new husband in the presence of our guests
  • My husband washing my feet, tears streaming down my face; he did this in gesture of Christ’s example of self- sacrifice when He washed the feet of the disciples.
  •  Our first kiss as husband and wife
  •  Our first dance
  •  My brother’s heartfelt toast in our honor
  •  The limousine driving us away to start our life together

And I remember his vows… “Natalie, my love, I thank God daily for you. I am amazed by everything you are. I promise to cherish you and to honor you. I promise to be forever faithful to you. I promise to protect and care for you. I cannot believe this day has finally arrived, the day I get to marry my best friend. Natalie, you captured my heart from the first time I looked into your eyes. You are my dream come true, the love of my life. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you, my sweetheart. I, ——-, take you, Natalie, to be my wife”.

Those vows are so distant and yet still near to my heart. He betrayed me, he broke those vows, and he shattered my heart. Yet, December 30th is still my anniversary. I have and will continue to acknowledge this day in whatever way is best for me.

In past years I have celebrated with girlfriends rallied around me, and I have remembered the day with a bottle of vodka and body shaking sobs. I have spent the night with Chinese take-out and Xanax. Roses have been delivered by my sister, and phone calls have been made by my parents, simply to echo, “I remember what today is too.”  I have spent my anniversary holed up in a hotel room in Cozumel, too depressed to even move, and I have spent it in awe of the baby boy growing inside my belly.

On this day, December 30th, 2012, I spent the morning laughing with my son and sharing in the Mass. I cried throughout the service. It was the feast day of The Holy Family. Dear Lord, let me learn from this family. Let me never forget their part in the gospel. Let me ask for them to intercede on my behalf. Thank you for Mary. Thank you for Joseph. Thank You for sending Jesus to be raised by them. Thank you for the gift of the Son of God.

My son in my arms, I went forward to receive the Eucharist. “The body of Christ.”

“Amen.” Tears form behind my eyes. 

Yes, Amen. Amen is a way to say that something is indeed true. The body of Christ was broken for me. Truth. In my own brokenness, I have found comfort in the depths of the suffering Christ endured for me. Truth. Christ endured suffering for you. Truth. He knows my pain. Truth. He knows your pain. Truth. On my anniversary, on your anniversary, whatever your anniversary may pertain to, he remembers it. He hasn’t forgotten what you went through, and what you still may be working through. Truth.

 

{In your life, how have you recognized anniversaries associated with pain? Is there a reason that you have not given yourself permission to acknowledge an anniversary? Thanks for reading.}