Three years ago on a hot July day, I woke up knowing that my life was about to change. I woke up to a simple text that read, “See you at the altar babe.” I smiled, replied, and started to get ready.
Later that day I put on an off-white lace dress with a long train that traveled behind me the same way that our mom-loving toddler does now. A sparkly belt highlighted my waist and defined my hourglass figure. It was the prettiest I had felt in my entire life. My makeup was perfect, my hair was perfect. It was the thing that dreams are made of.
I saw him at the altar. Waiting patiently for me. Patience. One of his best traits. He looked at me with a subtle smile that said, “there she is.” A simple wink flashed my way and this was it.
My bouquet was gorgeous and was adorned with a picture of my late-grandfather. Somehow I knew he was watching and I was honored to have him and my father walk me down the isle. The walk to the altar felt like it took a life time, and in many ways it had…
Carlos and I have been together for over ten years now, but married for three years. Our trip to the altar was a long one. One of four years of high school, with our summers spent a thousand miles apart. One of four years of college, with our time spent a couple of hours apart. The time we did have together during college was special and never seemed long enough.
But there I was. Finally walking to my groom. My smile got bigger and bigger as I approached him.
A marriage is one day. A wedding is a lifetime.
Three years and two children later, I still feel the same way towards my groom. It’s cliche to say, but I a truly do find myself falling for him with each day that passes. There have been long days and nights in our short marriage. But for every misstep, there always seems to be a stronger hold on us. For every fault, there always seems to be a lesson at the end that makes us stronger. It’s simple, when we turn to each other for strength, we always end up stronger.
We are not perfect, and we are not “goals.” We are simply a team that works together in all ways.
While I cling to my vivid and fond memories from our wedding day, I cling even tighter to our marriage. The daily life of my marriage is more important than the dress I wore, the cake we ate, or the actual day itself.
Our marriage is what we cling to when life gets rough. Our marriage is what will be there when we face the loss of our loved ones. Our marriage is what will be there when the tides of life shift and change like they always seem to do. Our marriage is what will be there when our kids have moved out and started a families of their own. And our marriage is what we will always need to cling to.
We still have so much to experience together, and we still have so much to learn. But when I get to reflect on our journey to the altar, it shows me how far we’ve come together. It shows me that all those years of college away from each other were worth it. All the time and waiting was worth it. Reflecting on our journey shows me that we are worth it.
“There are three people in a marriage – Man, Wife, and God. So here you are all together at this altar. Revisit it frequently – every week even. And when you have children, bring them to this altar with you. Continually place God in your lives and in the lives of your children. Keep God in your marriage and your marriage will not fail.” — These words were spoken to us at our wedding by our Priest, Father Fred. They are written in my mind and heart forever.