I witnessed true love today.
I have seen people in love before, but not like this. My husband’s friend and co-worker married the love of his life today and I have no doubt in my mind that she is the love of his life. I’ve met him once or twice. I believe I met his wife exactly once. I may have seen them together for maybe a moment or two and thought they were just adorable together. I didn’t have enough background on their relationship to tell you much about them, so I was complete taken aback when I saw them stand before their friends, family and God and promise to love and care for each other forever. Everyone means it when they’re standing there, I believe that, but no one truly believes that these promises will bind them together, forever and always, the way Paulo and Bonni did. They are so deeply in love with each other that it just shows when they look into each other’s eyes. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
As we watched them take each other’s hands at the altar, my husband took my hand and I leaned on his shoulder. Both of us were thinking back on the day when we got married. It was a ceremony that took less than five minutes in the courthouse. My mother and brother were witnesses to that day and back then, we weren’t so in love with each other as we are now. Our marriage has been a lot of work. It needs daily watering and plenty of light and room to grow. And damn, have we flourished!
After seventeen years, I still love this man that I married back then, more than I did when I said “I do.” Both of us knew what we’d signed up for. Neither of us wanted a relationship that was going to do anything less than go the distance. We’d had our share of failed relationships that were never meant to last. When we found each other and decided to get married, we went all in. It meant for a very difficult start for both of us. Neither of us were ready to give up our freedom. Neither of us were ready to be a family, but we knew what we wanted and we kept at it. Time and hard work made all of that happen and here we are! And just look at what we have built together!
We have a wonderful home with two amazing children who are smarter than I ever could have believed. We are there to support each other and fight for each other, and yes, with each other, when things are bad and when we fight, believe me, we fight hard. When our kids have fallen into bad situations and needed our help to get back out, we have formed this amazing united front that blazes a trail right through the bad stuff and leads us straight back to the good. We have had the most wonderful life.
As the reception went on, we both couldn’t stop smiling at Paulo and Bonni and then we found that we couldn’t stop smiling at each other. We left the reception early. In part, because we’d done our job. We’d been witnesses to the marriage of two amazing human beings who deserve all the best that life has to give them and more. We’d seen their love for each other in their eyes and their smiles that were so wide that my husband joked that they were about to split in two. What we didn’t say when we left was that we were anxious to just be together. Just us, being us. We went home. We read some news articles and hung out with our kids and our dogs and we looked back on the seventeen years of marriage and we agreed on one thing. It’s worked out pretty well.
My husband said later that we needed to go to a wedding. I had no idea how much truth there was in that until he hugged me and I understood what he meant. Seventeen years of hell and heaven just got tossed together in my mind and when I stood next to him and hugged him back, I knew that I would gladly do it all over again. Watching Paulo and Bonni had so much more meaning for us than just some other wedding. It gave us both a little bit of healing and it reminded us that in spite of everything, we’re still here. We’re still together and we always will be.
Congratulations Paulo and Bonni and thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us. I believe that God has already given you everything you need to get through the rest of your lives together. He gave you a brilliant love to carry in your hearts and you get the blessing of being able to share it with each other. Hang on to it and it will guide you through everything.