It was eleven years ago today, a country boy asked a southern belle to be his lady forever. We were in the most romantic and picturesque little setting; a small town, an extraordinarily sunny day, on the grounds of an old, historic landmark. I was dangling from the edge of the old covered bridge watching the crystal blue water rushing beneath me. I was deep in thought when I turned to exclaim something I have long since forgotten to see the love of my life on bended knee already in tears awaiting my attention.
And in the beautiful words of Walt Whitman…
“We were together; I forget the rest.”
It has since been the sweetest years of my life. Shawn and I have forgotten more good memories together in our years than most people have been blessed to even create in a lifetime.
Before the ring, before the dents and dings, before we realized perhaps it wouldn’t always be easy, there was a solid foundation of pure love. I believe the Lord prepared my heart for him long before I even knew him.
Somehow though, it is easy for us. I believe that is simply because we made that sweet commitment of forever to honor our sacred vows until the very end of time, from beginning to eternity. And that changed how we approach everything.
This week, as I have once again been reminded how precious and fragile life truly is, I break from the hustle and bustle to just breathe and examine my life. Not the surface, like the way the little laugh lines are beginning to show, or how often I need to cover the little silver strands in my hair or the way the boys now tower over us and through it all Shawn somehow still looks like a stone cold fox.
Not even examining in a way that recalls to my heart and mind the fact that we have countless memories and photos in front of that same old plastic shark on the same sunny beaches, but rather in a way that speaks volumes as to how I live every day. I may not get everything right; there is always work left on my desk at the end of the week. Sometimes I burn dinner, I am late without good reason, and often I am simply overcommitted and spread too thin. I disappoint someone daily for some reason or another. I do not call enough, visit enough or spend time with friends like I should.
But, I can honestly say, without hesitation or doubt, that I have loved one Benjamin Shawn Ritch with my whole body, soul and spirit. And I hope when my life is over, and his ends exactly one minute after mine, that he is absolutely exhausted from experiencing a lifetime of my love for him. There is no place I would rather be than resting on his shoulder; no sound I would rather hear than his heartbeat. And no giant hand I would rather have blow me butterfly kisses.
Shawn and I got married in the sand on our favorite beach that we still visit often. Diamonds may dull and gold may tarnish but I thank God for the man he is, the sweet life we have together and the pure, unblemished love we have that’s more precious today than it was then.
And will be even stronger for whatever storm we may or may not face tomorrow.
Love you Silver Fox.
We are together.
And I forget nothing.