On this, Day Six of January in Ought-Nine, is the 8th anniversary of the day I said "I do" in front of an audience smaller than the Maytag Repairman's client list (I dare say there were more folks in the wedding party than out in the pews .... long story .... don't want to get started .... will explain on request .... anyway ..... too many ellipses as it is ..... )
For those who joined the network since the old website (with wedding pictures) was taken down, here are my vows to Seraphim as I gave them on 01/06/2001:
(Seraphim), this is our day, a celebration of all we are together, and all we can accomplish together. You and I were tested from the very start ... over two years of a long distance relationship that would've torn apart many. But we passed that trial. And here we stand today.
Our meeting was more than mere chance. I desired a friend who would be honest, not judgmental. A companion who would see my many quirks as part of the whole picture, not something to be ashamed of. A supporter who would inspire me and encourage me to reach my potential. Plus, a woman who would accept and love my son ... an additional mother figure whom my son could love and cherish.
(Sera), you are all those things ... you are truly my best friend. I feel very strongly that God brought you to me at the right time, and helped carry us through a 93-mile separation, and finally last Summer, put both of us in the same city, at the same time. Some would call that the stars lining up just right ... but I know better.
Surviving a failed marriage, as I did, gave me the gift to see from a different angle everything that marriage is. It's not something to rush into without thought. And it's not something that magically gives us security. Marriage is truly a Godly element of life ... and entering into this beautiful union with you is not something I've taken lightly. And marriage will not bring us security — I already feel secure with you, a security that nearly three years of friendship has created. I'm a better person for knowing all that you are.
(Sera), I promise to you, before God, and our family and friends, to love, honor and cherish you. That I will be your safe harbor, and your biggest cheering section.
There's a note you wrote to me last year, and I keep it right next to the computer ... "It takes me only a moment to say ‘I love you', but it will take me a lifetime to show you how very much." I promise to do just that. Every day will be a new opportunity to renew the pact we're making today.That note, by the way, still hangs within view of this monitor:
It still seems more than surreal that I have been blessed with a woman like Seraphim as my wife for eight years. She seems to be falling apart, with more doctors than Subway locations in a single city block, and so many pills on her daily list that she needs a jumbo-sized smtwtfs* just to hold all of her medications.
Inside, though, her soul and her heart hold strong.
* Smtwtfs (sum-UH-twah-fuss) n. A plastic apparatus, with seven separate compartments, for tracking, allocating and remembering pill dosage. So named because that cryptic word is always on the top, one letter embossed on each lid. (root = latin smtwtum, "pharmaceutical cocktail of obscene proportions")
This day will be celebrated as a husband and wife should never do: not touching one another. We cannot. Doctor's orders. Yesterday, Sera took one pill .... a radioactive pill .... in a hopeful effort to nuke (literally) her Grave's Disease, a recent diagnosis of a malperforming thyroid - one issue piled on many others. Therefore, I cannot share a bed with her, touch her, nor share a "facility" with her. Furthermore, she is to wash her dishes and clothes separately from mine.
But we press on. "In sickness and in health" isn't a faddish expression, after all. I love her unraveling self. Each radioactive ion of her being, I do.
I love you, Seraphim. We'll get to the bottom of the medical mysteries and before long you'll be back to full tilt. Meanwhile, I've got your back.
Happy anniversary, love of my life! Another year to share together and I remain excited about the miles and miles of road ahead for us.
--Your Couch-dwelling Curmudgeon