I’ve never “witnessed” marriage vows like I did this weekend at my sister’s wedding. I’ve never “felt” them in my heart like I did then. And, I never realized just how vital they were to be spoken until I really heard them said.
Maybe it was because I had front row seats beside my stepmom and my father. Maybe it was because the Bride was my baby sister.
It certainly wasn’t that this bride and groom were more in love or more committed than any others–though I was deeply moved by the earnestness I saw in the Groom’s tender brown eyes. (I had to restrain myself from jumping over to the other side of the aisle to catch my sister’s gaze.)
Maybe it’s my age. Maybe I’ve finally arrived at that sentimental stage. Maybe because having been married 20 years, I know how much is at stake on that altar.
But my ten-year old son in the tux felt it too, as evidenced by what he had to say on the ride home from the reception just before he fell to sleep:
“I kept thinking to myself, ‘Bonnie and Mark are getting married, right NOW. Bonnie and Mark are getting married, right NOW.”
As the ring bearer, Aidan refused to dress down–even after the Groom himself had removed his suit.”I’m uncomfortable,” he said about the shoes and the tie and the suspenders, “But I’m dedicated to the look.”
That’s what I felt.
I felt the importance of those words being spoken in front of all those who support the union–and in the face of all those who hold doubt.
I felt the energy of commitment “touch” and unify us all.
I don’t know what will become of their marriage. They’re old enough to make wise enough choices in a mate. They know themselves. But surely there is growth to be had–and growth isn’t always easy–and because of that, marriages don’t always last.
But I know this--there was an energy to those spoken vows, and that energy, should it be kept alive, will sustain them through thick and thin, richer or poorer, in sickness and health–even after death doth them part.
So be it.
Kelly Salasin, August 23, 2010.
Recommendation: Here’s a movie that lives and breathes the dedication of love–in the face of everything: Once Around.