Written on Wednesday May 12th, 2010
Today is the three year anniversary of our marriage to each other. Three years ago today we committed to love and to honor each other until the end of time. Three years ago I made the best decision I have ever made. If anyone were to ask me if I could change it all and start over, would I? The answer would be no. Even if I knew I was going to lose Michael in the end, I would not change any bit of it. Michael taught me what it was like to love unconditionally. That no matter what happened, our love for each other would always hold true and strong. Even during the time where our marriage was strained and we weren’t sure if we would make it, it was our love that held the pieces together. I would not change a thing. Our love has only grown. I am so very much in love with him and I would not change something that has given me and shown me so much love.
So today I decided to go outside, sit in a beach chair and continue to read my book (Eat, Pray, Love - which is so unbelievably amazing). About 15 minutes after I first sat down, I realized that I was completely alone. Everyone must have ventured back inside to get ready for dinner. It was at that time that I looked at the sun and realized that I have felt this sun before. I started to get knots in my stomach when I realized that three years ago, on this same beach, we were all arriving for us to get married. I was the last to arrive. I remember looking over at Michael in the other car and realizing that no matter how much I looked at him, he wouldn’t look back at me (granted, the windows were tinted and I am sure he wouldn’t have noticed that I was even looking at him). I suppose he didn’t want to risk that superstition that say “if you see your bride before you get married on your wedding day, you’ll be cursed with an unlucky marriage”. I remember the nervous jittery feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach. I almost felt like I was going to throw up. I wasn’t unsure of what I was doing, I was just so anxious for my life to begin, I knew then that my life was going to be forever changed. I remember my dad asking me before he walked me down the sand isle if I was sure this was what I wanted, because if I wasn’t, he had a credit card and he could get me on the next plane to Mexico. I remember that when we were reciting our vows to each other, we both stumbled on the same word. I remember crying when the officiant recited the 1 Corinthians verse 13, love is patient love is kind.
I can only imagine what it would be like with Michael here with me today. Maybe we would be sitting on the beach somewhere in San Diego with a bottle of wine and a packed dinner. Just sitting there watching the the sun as it vanishes beneath the horizon and marvel as the stars and the moon take their place in the sky. I wonder what sorts of things we would talk about. We would probably still be giddy as hell about him getting into the Marine Corps Officer program. Maybe we would be talking about college and what sorts of classes he would want to take. Maybe talking about baby names and possibly talking about when it would be an appropriate time for us to renew our vows. But I can only imagine. I can only make those pretend conversations happen in my head. It makes me so incredibly sad to know that our marriage really, can only go on if I make it continue to go on.
It's kind of like how I wear Michael's wedding ring. Michael never ever took his ring off. Even when he went to Iraq, he never took it off. Most husbands when they go over there, they will take off their ring so it doesn't get damaged. Michael, I guess, never took it off because he didn't want to be without it. If something were to have happened, he would want to be wearing his wedding ring. Well after the accident, I got a bag out his belongings that he had on him at the time of the accident. His cell phone, dog tags, his watch, chevrons, wallet, and his ring. My brain wasn't working then and I didn't even think to have them put his ring back on. Michael never took his ring off himself, so why should this be any different? If he had a say in it, I think he would ask to keep it on. But there is nothing I can do about that now. I have it. I always wear it. It actually fits on my index finger so I wear it on the same hand that I still wear my own wedding rings. I can't bear to be without them. So since Michael can no longer wear his ring everyday, I am here to carry that on for him. Just like I am still here to carry on our marriage.
After all of the imagining, some of my family came over to go out to dinner. My mom, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law all came over to go out with me. It really meant so much to have them all there with me. I have been blessed with an amazing family to be there for me as a crutch when I have really needed it. I may not show it all the time; I tend to act a little too tough on the outside. I tend not to show any of my suffering. But my family has only been there for me, even when I don’t ask them, or tell them I need them.