Our 4th Wedding Anniversary: Remembering my Vows

I woke up a little bit earlier than usual because I needed to surprise her with 2 things – a breakfast and a simple and sweet edited version of our church wedding videos. I was able to do the latter but failed to prepare our brekky because she woke up before I even started to crack the eggs.

It was a good morning. We jumpstarted the day with surprises. She liked the video and I loved our breakfast. The weather was fine, we played our music and we went to church and pray. We tried to make it special by just being together over pizza, chicken and chips.

One thing that bothered me though is that this is the only year that I didn’t give her flowers. I felt like I broke an anniversary tradition. For practical reasons, I gave her a phone instead. I know she needs it more than flowers. Anyway, the important thing is that I gave her something tangible to remind her everyday that I love her… unconditionally.

Why do we celebrate wedding anniversaries?

One simple answer is to recall the day that we tied the knot. It is a way of remembering a momentous event in our lives.

Now that we are on our 4th year of marriage, I know that it is no longer just about remembering a happy moment. It is about trying to sit down together, hold each others hands and reflect about how the last 4 years transformed us as an individual and as a couple.

According to The Awareness Centre (TAC), a company offering mental health services in London, “Whatever the anniversary, it gives us a chance to look back over the years since the event we’re marking, and reflect on how it has shaped us. Remembering the past (but without letting it rule us) can be an important part of understanding who we are.

I guess the best way to assess if something changed within us and between us is to remind ourselves of our vows.

As I was editing our wedding videos, I heard my vows… I cringe because it was slightly unromantic mixed with cheesiness. I heard it from my uncle’s sermon. He was the officiating priest of our wedding and I basically repeated fragments of his words. I recall not knowing what to say before the big day. Simply put, I was unprepared. Then, when the time came that I had to speak to my bride, in front of our families, I said “… I promise to love you and follow the 7 steps of marriage.. and dance with you forever” To make it a little bit more cringe-worthy, I said,“And if God choose, I will love you even after death.” This line came from one of my favourite sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Very original.

What?! the efff.

I guess at the back of my head, I wanted my wedding vows to be organic and “in the moment” … but my head was overwhelmed with happy emotions, words came out differently. But everything I said was Simple, Pure and True I love my wife and I will keep on loving her even after I die.

However, the sad thing is, I can’t even recall the seven steps of marriage today! So, I asked my uncle if he could send a copy of his sermon.

In his words, Fr. Rey Jose Rellora said,”Learning your own dance is to know the seven steps of dancing gracefully in married life. It’s a way of life on how to REMAIN IN EACH OTHER’S LOVE – to see, to listen, to touch, to chat, to pray, to walk, and to live.

Reflecting on it, I can see that each step was described by specific “tasks” that will sustain the basic foundation of our marriage – Our Friendship and Our covenant with God, as He is the centre of our unified relationship. All of it are action words… and both of us agree that we need to pray more because we believe that we are strengthened as we keep building our faith to the Lord.

In retrospect, I can see that we have been dancing well. Despite the times that we stepped in each other’s foot unintentionally, we managed to continue dancing – together. In the last four years, we were faced with financial problems, long distance issues, health and reproductive scares and misunderstandings. We still remain happy and hopeful for God’s abundant blessings.

At present, married life continues to be challenging. I find myself in a situation that feels like I am drowning helplessly. My wife cannot do anything, which breaks us immensely. So, the only solution that I can do is to learn how to swim, on my own, towards her, to myself and to the people who genuinely cares.

Although we are still dealing with problems, we both continue to dance tirelessly. God has infinite energy and power to fill us and protect us from the devil’s meddling work. The devil may have succeeded breaking my friendship with other people who came into my life but our friendship… our marriage is very precious that I vow to guard it with everything I have.

She is my Best friend. My Lover. My Happy Soul. She embraced my imperfections. She continues to help me stand up on my feet. She is one of the reasons why I am writing right now because I want to be better for her.

 

To my wife, I love you.

   

HOW DO I LOVE THEE?

BY: ELIZABETH BARRET BROWNING

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.