I started my day as I normally do, scrolling through my Facebook feed and I stumbled across this article. I admired this woman’s take on the idea of a “soulmate” and her honesty about herself and her husband.
“He challenges me, encourages me and talks me down off cliffs, but he isn’t the end-all-be-all of my world. That is a dangerous thing to ask of a relationship because I’m in love with and married to a flawed man. And he married a really flawed Mary. The idea that I can complete the hole he has in his heart, this want for something to fill him up, is wrong and destined to be painful.”
It seemed like a perfect segue to what I want to talk about and celebrate on this day, the 11th of June, 2014. This is a VERY special day for my family, today is the day that my sister Anita and my brother-in-law Chris can stake claim on their impressive 20 years of marriage! Needless to say 20 years is a monumental amount of time in any context but most assuredly with regards to marriage in this day and age.
My sister and I are 10 years apart which I’m sure she would tell you was quite tricky for the first part of our lives. Not too much in common for an 8 and an 18 year old! But as the years have gone by the age difference has become less and less relevant and is now mostly entertaining for us both as she watches her little sister live through the same things she lived through 10 years ago.
On this day 20 years ago I was 12 years old and BEYOND excited to be a bridesmaid in MY big sister’s wedding! I remember being ecstatic to give her her wedding gift, which was an “anthology” of poems, song lyrics and what not that I liked. I typed everything up on the typewriter, and even included individual and unity friendship bracelets! Best wedding gift ever! Ha!
I remember being amazed at how relaxed she was when my mom and I went up to see her. There she was floating in the pool in her super cool tie-dyed one piece bathing suit, hair wet and just chillin’. I remember that I didn’t wash my hair because I wanted curls in my hair. Apparently I went a little too long without washing because my hair was GREASY! I ended up rocking a SLICKED back half pony tail with no curl. My 12 year old self was seriously disappointed! I also remember my sister telling me to CHILL OUT because I was freaking out about the cake topper not fitting on the cake. I was a wee bit high strung I suppose… I remember how beautiful my sister, my mom and my grandma looked that day. All the guys looked dashing in their formal wear and other than that I don’t remember all that much. It’s funny the random things that stick with you. I certainly do remember watching the father/daughter dance. Anita chose “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and in that moment I wanted to be JUST LIKE HER! I couldn’t wait to be the bride dancing to that very song with my dad! It took almost 20 years but I did indeed get to relive that precious moment at my wedding dancing with my dad to the sweet words of “It’s a Wonderful World” with my sister and her husband watching me. It was a magical moment for sure.
One of the best parts about getting older for me was becoming closer to Anita and Chris. It was as if we had entered a whole new world where I was privy to all sorts of juicy life details that I was just too young to be let in on before. My love life was a constant rollercoaster for a long time (and not in the awesome “butterflies in your stomach excitiement” sort of way). During that time Anita and Chris reiterated to me that marriage and relationships ARE NOT EASY! They were not selling me any B.S. about how everyday was magical and they lived their lives on cloud 9. They kept it real with me and let me know that I should expect extreme highs/lows and LOTS of in between. But during all of that that I should expect to FEEL loved and RESPECTED. Eventually I got it right
It’s a beautiful thing to see how they have both learned to give and take, compromise, compromise, compromise, to laugh at one another’s imperfections, to fight and forgive, to push eachother’s buttons and drive one another crazy only to come out on the other side TOGETHER.
They have packed up and moved their lives MANY times. Tampa to Tallahassee to Pittsfield, Massachussetts, to Charlotte, North Carolina, to Daytona and two weeks ago life threw them another curve ball wrapped in new and exciting opportunities and they’ve JUST moved to Jacksonville Beach. Each time, they seem to find their way, figure their lives out and make a home TOGETHER.
I have been incredibly lucky in my life to have such outstanding examples of marriage. My grandparents were married for more than 60 years, my parents have been married for more than 40 years and now Anita and Chris celebrate 20 kick ass years of love and life TOGETHER!
Congratulations you two, I love you both so very much! Happy Anniversary and thank you for showing me WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE!
Hope you love your custom tiki commissioned especially for the two of you by those that love you most from the one and only Tiki Jeff at Surf Soul Tiki!