Ten years ago today, I married my best friend.
To mark this moment, as a gift to my bride, I created a sixteen-minute slideshow capturing just about 500 photos. Each one tells a story, a memory rekindled.
Music provides the backdrop, a playlist of songs that accompanied us through our first kiss, our first dance, and our children.
As I watched the final product, I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude.
What started as a simple hello between a California girl and a boy from Queens, we found that kind of love in which poets dream.
To be honest, I sometimes wish I could go back in time and tell my shy younger-self how through the twists and turns, he would eventually end up in the arms of the woman that God created just for him and for their children.
As the slideshow moved from image to image, the blessings flowed. In between these images, we danced, laughed, cried, and found God in both the ordinary and extraordinary.
I then started to recall those who have passed since we said “I do,” (and sadly, as is the case over a decade, there have been many). How we miss them- their smile, their embrace, their love.
I find myself thinking of them from time to time. I find comfort in knowing they are not so far away.
In these images, I also notice the new life, the precious pitter patter and laughs of children who brighten our world, all while revealing God’s love.
I also reflect on all the new friendships that came into our life since that blessed day, those who missed out on a piece of our wedding cake (it was delicious), but who provided us with the gift of themselves.
Over the course of 3,650 days of married life, we learned, we tried, we loved, and we grew. As we mark this occasion, we now hold two beautiful daughters in our arms and we are surrounded by a community of family and friends who bless us with their love- even if it is slightly more than 6-feet away
As I saw almost a quarter of our life pass by in these photos, I couldn’t help but think of this scriptural passage:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).”
Anxiety accompanies me most days. This struggle is not present in these images, but they are there, lurking in the shadows. As I move forward, I am invited to learn from St. Paul and to trust even more in God, as God has been so very good to me.
We also feel a deep sense of responsibility, not just to our girls and our family, but to our local and global community. As we celebrate our united love, we recognize that our world is hurting, people are crying for justice and peace, there is deep mourning and grieving over the loss of life, work, and health. We pray that we can be a part of the solution, always leading with, and providing dignity- especially for those who do not often receive it from our society.
The roads before us will surely have their twists and turns. Tears will flow, loss will knock us to our knees, as will other circumstances. We will laugh and we will smile, and at times, we will simply hold hands as we first did so many years ago.
As the slideshow ends, I see four faces, with the youngest only two-months old. My cup truly overflows.
Who knows what the next decade will bring, but if the last ten years proved anything- I am a blessed man, blessed among women, and eternally thankful.