Today marks fourteen years since I married my husband Dennis. I never imagined what the years ahead would hold. Who really does when they are standing at the altar promising, “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death us do part.”
Dennis and I had a $1000 budget for our wedding which had to include the dress too. We stretched and skimped gladly because our focus wasn’t on the occasion of our wedding day, but on the lifetime of our marriage. We had recently failed in business together and so we were starting out with nothing but dreams and each other. There was so much ahead, but even if we tried we couldn’t have imagined the terrain our shared road would bring us through.
We couldn’t imagine the beautiful children we would have together, or the young man that we would watch Keegan become. We couldn’t even conceive of the times our children’s lives would bring us to our knees or fill us with laughter so deep it filled the air around us.
On our wedding day we also couldn’t have imagined that it would be the last time I saw my Uncle Tom coherent before Alzheimer’s began to rob us of him. We didn’t know that shortly after we returned from our honeymoon, the phone would ring and my father would somberly tell me that my mother had just had a heart attack. None of us knew the battle we would watch her go through over the past fourteen years. We didn’t know that Dennis’ mom would have two bouts of cancer during the span of our marriage. Or that 2011 would upon up with the loss of my mother.
We didn’t know a lot, but I knew that I could count on the characteristics of Dennis for as long as I lived. When we’ve been broke and prosperous Dennis has always been generous, driven and compassionate. Even during times of great stress Dennis has always had integrity and honor. At all stages of our lives together Dennis has been ambitious, committed, creative and persevering.
The situation of our lives changes constantly, but the dependable character of the man I married remains steady and true. We have individually grown and changed but we still share the same faith, beliefs, values, goals and dreams. I know in the years ahead life will continue to change. We will share great grief and celebration together, but with each year and every circumstance I can count on Dennis to remain devoted to our family and true to who he is.
Our mutual focus on family and faith ensures that even when our lives are rocky we are standing on the same firm foundation heading towards a shared vision. As we celebrate our fourteenth year of marriage I wanted to share my view of the man that I am filled with love and respect for no matter where our lives have led us. Just by chance our wedding anniversary fell on the day that we made Franklin, Tennessee our new hometown and embarked on a new adventure.