On the day of our wedding my Aunt offered me my choice of two handkerchiefs as my something old, something new, and my something blue. She had a blue bow and she was going to pin it to whichever of the folded, white pieces of fabric I chose. One was a new and delicate lace. Stunning for a tiny piece of cloth. She had picked it up at a store for the occasion thinking I would want something more striking than the other she offered. This one was a bit less sophisticated. An inexpensive fabric with large lace as a border. She explained to me that it was her mother’s. And it clearly was special to her.
She assumed I wouldn’t pick the worn handkerchief, opting for the more presentable, new one. But seeing the look in her eyes I knew she was secretly hoping I would choose her mother’s. A woman I barely remember but had very fond memories of. For a split second I considered the new handkerchief. It was sleek and perfect. But I instead chose the handkerchief you see above, the one already filled with memories and love. The one my Aunt didn’t want to assume I would want, but hoped I would carry down the aisle.
Wearing a beautiful diamond necklace given to me by Aaron as my something new, my Aunt pinned the blue ribbon to the handkerchief and then left another Aunt to present me with something borrowed. I proudly wore my Grandmother’s watch, loaned by my Aunt, on my wedding day. Another family heirloom filled with love and years upon years of ‘in good times and in bad’ between my Grandmother and Grandfather.
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my marriage to Aaron. Surrounded by family, friends, and the memories of the marriages and love that made up my heritage. My something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue represented so much. The relationships I watched as a child filled with hardship as well as celebration, and never, ever, lacking in love. The thoughtfulness of my Aunts, the promise of an amazing future from my husband-to-be.
11-years later and I have a better idea of what those small trinkets meant and why they were an important part of our start as man and wife.
It’s no secret we’ve had a tough time lately. ‘In sickness and in health’ isn’t just a saying in our home, and my husband has taken that vow to heart. Not only has he been my support and my strength, but he has embodied everything I hoped walking down that aisle, trinkets in hand, 11-years ago.
I’m not sure everyone can say that about their spouse. Recently we’ve watched as friends divorce and it’s been difficult to see the pain and fear in ending what was supposed to be forever. It’s made me grasp onto Aaron and bury my face in his chest, thankful for our friendship above all. Knowing it’s what sustains us over time and when things get hard. Of course friendship only goes so far as well…and that’s where the love comes in. It’s a balance of the two and how they intertwine that helps over the years, because we can always fall back on being the best of friends.
A love has evolved over the years. And grew stronger as I grew weaker, and as I relied more and more on my partner.
Which is why when I think back to those tokens given to me for our wedding day, I think about how perfect they were. And how thoughtful. It was like receiving the strength and wisdom of my grandmother and my great-aunt, along with the promise and hope and love of my husband. And even now, 11-years later, I hear their voices when things get tough, and all I want is to comfort Aaron or our children.
Not a day goes by that I don’t remind myself just how lucky I am to have found my perfect partner in life. A man who has carried me though the good times and bad on his strength alone, for which I am forever grateful. And I hope I show my love and appreciation enough.
11-years later and we still laugh before bed. The giggles always vibrate the entire mattress and shake my whole body, making me laugh even harder.
11-years later and we still dance in the kitchen, either while cooking or simply cleaning up. Always instigated by my smooth yet white husband who grabs me and holds me close while we sway.
11-years later and he is STILL the one I most want to tell everything, or the FIRST one I want to tell any news.
11-years later and I love him more each day, and hope to see a million more days with him by my side.
11-years later and I still feel surrounded by those memories and those lessons of love that enveloped me while walking down the aisle, and embraced us both as we walked up the aisle as man and wife.