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Friday, August 8, 2014

Reflections on our ROV

As I woke way too early this morning I realized I was still reeling in the love I felt on Saturday at our Renewal of Wedding Vows Ceremony. It would be impossible to put down my reflections on that day, but as I sit here, I so want to try. If only to capture a tiny bit of the joy I felt, so one day when the times are again tough (as life always goes in waves) I will have someplace to look back and remember the love. The other day I asked Mark which of our "Wedding Ceremonies" he enjoyed more? Mark who is very thoughtful, and rarely answers even a simple question quickly, immediately said, that would be tough to answer. I'm with him, the Wedding of our youth was fun, full of romance and mystery, obviously we had no clue the events and the love that would unfold. I know I was sure we would "make it" despite other people's doubts, but what I did not know were the challenges we would make it through. I didn't know getting pregnant would be tougher than my junior high teacher had made it out to be. I didn't know that when we had that baby boy later than my due date, he could end up in the NICU with tiny babies who struggled to hold on. I didn't know you could love a baby the way I loved him and worry so much about his future. I didn't know I would miscarry and Mark would spend months trying to put my broken heart back together. I didn't know about gastroschisis, strokes at birth, cerebral palsy and the many diagnosis, medications, specialists, therapies, schools and fights we would endure to get our daughter all she needed. I didn't know the week in the NICU with our son, Beau, would suddenly seem like a walk in the park compared to the two months in the NICU with our daughter, Teale. I didn't know I could survive on so little sleep, walking our home at night with a baby who was often tough to console. I didn't know our son Beau had the ability to grow up too fast and become independent at such a young age because he just had to. I didn't know how much I would miss "that perfect birth experience" and ask Mark to take the chance with me to have hope restored in my broken soul. I didn't know Mark had grown to love me so much he would not hesitate and soon our last child, our baby girl, Gwenn, would come into our life without even a squeal in the delivery room. But this time, that it would be ok and I would finally hold a baby in minutes, not in days, after birth. I didn't know that she too would grow up fast and soon be the big sister to her big sister. God had not prepared me, but somehow He did give me the strength to get through. Somehow, with this man by my side, who I would grow to adore far more than I could imagine, we would make it. Twenty five years later, we would come out of the storms and we would see the light. Our renewal was an affirmation of our love and our commitment. It was a celebration of those storms that we endured because our faith was strong enough to believe we could. The moments of our ceremony that stand out the strongest to me are times I could just feel the energy and the love. As we walked in as a couple with our three beautiful children, I took in the moment. I looked around the room filled with people who loved us and I truly soaked it in. The energy was overwhelming and I was lifted by that energy. It was a moment of pure love, unconditional love felt not only by the man holding my hand tightly, but the many people there to celebrate with us. That moment will always be the one I will remember the most. It surprised me how much I suddenly wholly believed that this ceremony, this family and this life, was exactly where I was always meant to be....

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