Before God and this gathering, I vow from my heart and spirit that I will be your wife/husband for as long as we both shall live.
I will love you with faithfulness, knowing its importance in sustaining us through good times and bad.
I will love you with respect, serving your greatest good and supporting your continued growth.
I will love you with compassion, knowing the strength and power of forgiveness.
I will love you with hope, remembering our shared belief in the grace of God and His guidance of our marriage.
“And at home, by the fire, whenever you look up, there I shall be–and whenever I look up, there will be you.”
(our wedding vows for our September 19, 1981 wedding at First Seattle Christian Reformed Church — the last line adapted from Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd”)
I want to remember us this way—
late September sun streaming through
the window, bread loaves and golden
bunches of grapes on the table,
spoonfuls of hot soup rising
to our lips, filling us
with what endures.
~Peter Pereira from “A Pot of Red Lentils”
I cherish the moments that are most basic, plain, and simple and have the best chance of happening again. I’m not talking about exotic travels, nor the extravagant meal out, nor the once in a lifetime experience. My most cherished moments are everyday, and I store them up to fill the decades full.
Most cherished of all is “that look” that says “I want to look into your eyes forever and get lost there.”
I am lucky enough to know what that feels like. I get that butterfly in the stomach feeling anytime it happens. My husband held my eyes with his from across a room early in our relationship, and thirtyseven years later, he still holds them when he looks at me, even over bowls of soup at the kitchen table.
And I look at him just that way as well. The eyes say what words cannot. The eyes don’t lie. The eyes never change even though the years bring gray hair and crow’s feet.
It is what endures. I want to look at you forever, just like this, just as you are, wherever you are because of who you are.