A friend of mine wrote a quick tribute to her running partner who had just endured the loss of his wife to cancer. A hard fight lost to a tragic killer only 20+ years into their union. And I began to ponder…
Why do we cry at weddings?
I think the young and love struck or love hopefuls cry because they are enjoying a beautiful ceremony– something they hope to attain by walking down the same aisle someday.
But those of us more seasoned in the union of Holy Matrimony shed tears for another reason altogether. We remember our own wedding, which began the real ministry of our marriage. Wedded bliss quickly gave way to financial realties, in-law pressures, added to by the blessing of babies. We struggle through how to provide for them, how to parent them, under the watchful and critical eye of everyone who thinks they know better…and in our youthful stupidity they probably do. But we have to learn for ourselves don’t we?
Then one of those babies grows a bit and suffers sickness. Financial pressures and employment changes. Schools. Sports. Losses. Gains. Wins. Devastating mistakes. Terrible unexpected turns. Incredible opportunities. Every one of us just trying to navigate through life while plowing alongside someone who mostly agrees with us and at times vehemently opposes.
Life is hard.
The challenges and curve balls we get thrown are meant to build the strength and bones of your marriage into titanium. But instead so many times we find ourselves fighting against the very one we promised to protect, love and honor. The stress of the challenge we face overshadows the strength of the love we promised.
And that’s why those of us married for more than a decade or two cry at weddings. It’s why we pray silently as they pledge eternally. It’s why we hope incessantly for this new union forged that the weapons formed against it will not prosper, but instead that those trials– the sick child, the financial ruin, the overwhelming circumstances– will not overwhelm this promise.
Because life is always better as two walking together, two plowing alongside one another, two promising that no matter what…they will choose love and faith in one another.
In the few days since I have written this post, another friend and neighbor of mine has tragically lost her daughter-in-love to a fatal car accident. Love one another, folks. Hold on tight to each other…no matter what. You’re never guaranteed another bedtime kiss.
Pictures by: JeanCarlo Ramirez (IndieHouseFilms)