My younger cousin was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma when he was in high school. There were few dodgy years even though the survival rates are high. And on Saturday he married the girl he’s been dating since the first few days of remission.
I rarely attend a wedding without getting choked up. Because I believe in it, I suppose. There is so much cynicism in our world regarding marriage, and I suppose that’s due to the high rate of failed ones. But for me, how can you question the sanctity of marriage? How can it be the same as a common law relationship? I suppose. that’s also one of the reasons I believe in gay marriage as well – because marriage matters.
It was in the same church where Steve and I were married, with the same minister. This is the third wedding I’ve attended with him. After Steve and I exchanged our rings, he took off the sash that he was wearing around his neck and wrapped it around our hands. He said that what God had united, only God could break. It was my favourite part of the ceremony. It became clear to me, in that moment, that we were bound together. Not by our child (who was almost one), but by our beliefs and our God and our community and our vows.
A wedding isn’t a marraige, and I hate it when people mix up those words. A wedding is a wonderful way to start a life together, but the colour of the bridesmaids dresses or how much you like the pictures or what your mother-in-law wore don’t make or break your marriage. A marriage is a commitment, it is working together. It is learning to swallow your pride and say you’re sorry and forgive, when it’s time to move on. A marriage is getting annoyed by stupid things like damp towels left on the bed or who has to let the dog out last before bed. A marriage is laughter and sometimes even a quick blow job in the afternoon. A marriage is leaving your kids with your husband while you spend time with your parents and then realizing that you love him a little more after he told you that he hadn’t thought about work the whole day. A marriage is laying your head on his lap every time you watch t.v. together and it’s knowing how his body smells in each spot and it’s so much love you wonder how your heart stays together.
A marriage isn’t always easy, and it’s trite, but “Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction.”
So here’s to my cousin and his long-time love and now new bride. Here’s to happiness and love and rainy days together. Here’s to children and laughter and tears and fights and forgiveness. Here’s to love.