Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Today was my sixth wedding anniversary, the second one that has passed since Mark has been gone. I dropped my little kiddos off so I could spend some time to myself reflecting on our wedding and our short time together as husband and wife. I got my haircut, just like I did on our honeymoon to Palm Springs, Mark thought I was crazy when I told him I was chopping my long locks to my chin. Afterwards he said "my wife looks pretty cute with short hair." Then I had lunch, a greek salad, at the cemetary and talked to Mark. I told him about the kids, Amaya going to the Homecoming dance, Aaliyah trying out for the school play, Hezekiah loving preschool, and Samara giving me attitude. I sat in the shady spot, looked at the Minneapolis skyline, felt the breeze, and recalled why chose that plot. Then I decided to write a letter, a letter to Mark honoring our anniversary. It was a perfect day, that I will never forget, and would love to go back in time to.
To my Marky, on our 6th wedding anniversary:
When I met you, I thought you were a little crazy. I am certain that you recognized the same in me. You intimidated me, which is not about many people. But, I wasn’t used to being pursued so fervently. I know when you tell the story I was the one following you around Autumn Ridge, but I will never forget the day you ran after me as I climbed the stairs of the 6312 building. It was all to tell me what you were reading in Psalms. I remember how you approached me with so much caution, and then how you opened up a little at a time. I didn’t ask for you, I didn’t expect you, but our God is a God of unexpected blessing. We both knew that He had ordained our meeting, He had ordered our steps, and He brought us together as one. On our wedding day 6 years ago, I was nervous, I was unsure. I know you were scared, but all of that fell away as we stood together and prayed during our first look. We stood in front of our family and friends and worshipped, prayed, cried, laughed and made our vows. We vowed to love the other until death do us part. We vowed to choose one another over anyone else. We vowed to put God at the center of our marriage and to be pillared by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And I am so glad we did. So many people look at us and see a fairy tale, I don’t argue, but I think we both know that some days it was more like a wrestling match between two of the most stubborn people to walk the earth. It is no wonder our kids are so strong, independent and obstinate. I chose you 6 years ago because you loved God, you loved me, you had a vision for a life of doing kingdom work, and maybe a little bit because you had that grin that lit up the room. Some people make it to 50 years married, and then they look back and tell one another they would do it again. Well, here I sit at the top of the hill next to your headstone, and this life is no fairy tale, but babe I would choose you again. I would choose you even knowing that on July 30th, 2020 my heart would be ripped in half, that I would have to start making a conscious decision to get out of bed and live through the pain. You always knew that tomorrow wasn’t promised to us. The night before your heart attack you and I had that conversation. I walked past you and said “mark, will you love me forever?” And you replied “of course.” Then I said “our 5 year anniversary is coming up, 5 years is a long time. Imagine, we could make it to 45 or 50.” And you said “we will, as long as I live that long.” I reminded you that in 40 years you would only be 77, that’s not that old. Mark, you didn’t live that long, but I am going to hold to your confidence that we would have made it. I get to look at our marriage as one of success, because we were parted by death, we fulfilled the vows we made, and I will continue to live out the Kingdom work we dreamed of. I loved you 6 years ago, I love you today, and I will love you in 44 more years. Happy 6th Anniversary to my one and only, my true love, my partner, my friend, my soulmate, my husband.
“Do not urge me to leave you or to turn from following you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me, and ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”…Ruth 1:16-17