Our Love Has Grown Up Together

I can hardly fathom
the passage of years.
Is it truly two
decades since we vowed
to love one another
until death should part us?

It was a fairy tale day,
meeting the eyes of
my beautiful bride
walking the aisle
on the arm of her father.

When asked “who gives this woman?”
your dad responded
“her mother and I do”
through tears.

Then we stood before God and family
to our promise
to love and cherish
each other.
No doubt, Pastor Ray had fine words
though twenty years later
I remember none.
In the presence
of your radiance
I was blind
to much else.

A lunch of cake and sandwiches,
prayers and well wishes,
Several crystal dishes,
and we were on our way.

Bright eyed and hopeful,
but the years have proven that
fairy tales exist
only in fantasy.
Reality is so much better.

In real life, we have encountered
pain of loss,
sorrow of unfulfilled expectations,
anger toward corruption,
fear of losing loved ones,
bitterness of betrayal,
confusion about God’s plan,
but in all things, joy.

In fairy tales, the couples
live happily ever after.
Not so in real life.
In real life, we live joyfully ever after,
regardless of circumstance.
Fairy tales are static things
but real life matures
ever changing.

Amidst the years–
sorrows and the pains,
sunshine and rains,
joys and strains–
we grew
deepening roots
as we stretched our branches.

The years have been kind to me.
I left that church newly married
to a luminous bride
eager to make a home
and love her husband well.
She did.
But like a giant tree
her love for me has ever expanded
growing ever more solid
but new branches welcoming
children, friends
and some unknown,
a wise and welcoming beauty
whose love roots deeper into the dark
bringing light to people’s hurt.

A fairy tale it is not; it is better.
I am not fully myself with her, nor she without me.
To know me, you must come to know her,
and to know her, you must know me,
for our love has grown up together.

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