Six years ago at this time (13:00 eastern, 11:00 mountain time), it was a gorgeous sunny day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It had been a bit chilly that morning, but now it was at worst nippy. Most leaves were new spring green, although some were already taking on the summer mature tinge. Two weeks ago I had despaired of there being any leaves at all, but in NC leaf season literally happens overnight. It was a Saturday and also the anniversary of Andy's paternal Grandmother and the Grandpa whom I never met.
A specially burned CD began playing Enya's "Book of Days", the English version, and some oddly-dressed people (For the record, Vern did not wear a suit.) headed down an aisle created by a bunch of chairs in a grassy courtyard. The guys all had tuxes with gray-blue vests; Pamela and Sherry wore royal blue floor-length gowns, and Erin's was the same style but in forest green. Grandpa, who was still healthy, escorted me (wearing a huge white thing) down the aisle. The rest can best be described by our wedding re-enactment bears.
A lot has happened since then. Andy became a Master and then a Doctor. Our oldest daughter, Thena, died. We lost Cat's paternal and maternal grandfathers and Andy's maternal Granddad. Pamela and Dave got together and bought a house. We adopted our two younger daughters, Gail and Heidi. We moved to Albuquerque, wherein Andy now works at Sandia and I volunteer at Kitty City, a cage-free no-kill shelter. In a little less than a month, at least in theory, we will be closing on a house.
As with all marriages, ours has had some rocky points and although we've never fought, we have argued. As with perhaps not so many marriages, it has had truly wonderful times as well. We're both actively working through certain issues in hopes of smoothing out the bumps further. We did go into this, however, knowing that "happily ever after" is not a viable aspect of real life, and thus our expectations have been met rather than shattered. I still love him more than anything, and if we were brought back to this day six years ago and asked if we still wanted to go through with it, I'd say yes in a heartbeat.
Thank you to all of the friends and family who witnessed this and have held us to it. Thank you also to those friends and family members whom we have since met and who are also supportive and caring. Sure, we could both have gotten this far if, from nothing else, sheer stubbornness, but with all of you around we have been able to learn and grow in ways which would not have been possible without you.