Four years ago Steve picked up Thai food and brought it back to our hospital room. After dinner we shared chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. It was our 4th anniversary.
The following morning we would hold our daughter, Faith, for the first and last time.
Today we celebrate 8 years of marriage. It’s strange to realize that Faith’s birth falls right in the middle of our married life. Four years together before her, four years together after.
Our story didn’t begin in that hospital room and it didn’t end there either.
Our story as husband and wife began that morning when I put on the prettiest dress I’ve ever worn and held a bouquet of pink and white flowers in my hand. It began when we met at the altar, in front of our family and friends, and made our promises to each other before God.
When we pledged to be there “in sickness and in health” and “for better or for worse”.
We could never have guessed the kind of “in sickness” and “for worse” we would experience four years later.
I remember, soon after we came home from the hospital, crying as I looked up at our wedding pictures on the wall. Crying for the person I was that day and the joy I felt then, fearing I had lost both.
But I was wrong.
I am not the same person I was on my wedding day, but not in the negative way I thought in the weeks after Faith died. Today I have a stronger faith, a sweeter hope, a fiercer love, and a deeper joy.
Yes, joy. I hadn’t lost it after all. In fact I know it more fully now than I did before.
Last week Natalie pointed up to those same pictures on our wall. “You’re dressed up like a princess!”, she said. “I felt like a princess that day,” I replied. Then she looked right at me with a big smile and said, “And now you’re a mommy!”
My heart melted. Yes, my sweet girl, now I am. To you and to your beautiful big sister who first gave me that honor.
And you know what else, little one? The man who held my hand in those pictures has continued to hold my hand ever since.
We walked through “in sickness” and “for worse” in the same way we walked down the aisle after we first made those vows – holding on to each other.
Two lives, joined under God, a cord of three strands not easily broken. This is our story.