I hope that you each experience deep, all consuming love at some point in your life. One of my dreams for you is that you find the love of your life. Someone vibrant, kind, loving, hard working, and bright. Bright enough to know that kindness is the way to treat people. All 3 of you hopefully will know this love and join this person in the 'forever' of marriage.
I have loved your Dad from the minute I saw him. Meeting him when I was 21 years of age, I knew he: had a sense of pure happiness, a daring adventurous side that I did not possess, a positive attitude (that we shared), an understanding that it takes hard work to get what you want, strong family values (which was a must for me in a partner), similar interests, kind eyes, a sense of humor, a big heart, and let's face it- he wooo'd me with his good looks(he was WSC's Mr. May after all).
We 'traditionally' fell in love. We had lots of fun, got married, adopted a dog (our beloved Haley) and started a family. We always laughed because even though we were 'settled down' together, it seems like we never quite settled. We moved 5 times in the first 6 years of our marriage. We lived in a cool, 2 story apartment when we were newlyweds moving into our first home in a short 6 months because, shockingly, the neighbors complained we were too loud :o). Next stop, CC, which I swear was divine intervention (Daddy donated a kidney to Grammy). Then a quick succession of moving: moved back 'home' (to the house that was literally a homebuyers disaster), moved 5 minutes away (which we outgrew), and 'settled' about 7 minutes away. Probably the only 2 reasons we didn't move again is that we lack the energy to pack again and love our neighbors. So yay, life was busy, on the go. We are organizational disasters to begin with, never mind all the moving. I swear I still have boxes unpacked from our second move! Despite all of that moving around, new experiences and constant change...we loved each other deeply.
Having said that, it is important to know that marriage is all shiny at first, full of cuteness, kindness, adventure, and romance. The glitter fades and often partners are not just partners in fun, but partners in debt, parenting, struggles, and tiredness. We didn't fight a lot, Dad & I. We were passionate with each other and happy. Happy-for many years. But sometimes, things happen that test you both as partners and as people. For us, we lost Grammy to lung cancer. The grief swallowed Daddy whole. He quite literally quit our marriage in every possible way. Four years later we have clawed our way back to love. It is not the same love. It has been rebuilt. It is still fragile but it is WORTH IT. In some ways, I like to think it is stronger because it was fought for, chosen.
The vows you take are important. When they are broken in any way, they can and should be fixed *unless you are in an abusive relationship and then I will help you out*! Here are some scripture words that you can hold onto:
Use them in your ceremony, as a mantra. Whatever works... just believe in them! I can only hope that hubby and I have set a good example for you. Shown you what love should and can be. Here are some tips:
REALLY see your partner
Share your thoughts
Build a family *if it's in the cards
Love each other unconditionally (even when it is hard)
Love each other's families unconditionally (even when it is hard)
Fix what is broken (literally and figuratively)
Experience new places, things
Don't fight in front of your cherubs (disagree yes, fight no)
Support each other's dreams
Give each other space when needed
Keep your friendships intact
Know your partners' friends
Ask, 'How was your day?', everyday
Kiss each other
Try to stay healthy together
Dance, even when there is no music
Take rides in the car (some of the best conversations happen there)
See the good in each other
Grieve deeply when losing, yet grieve carefully
Don't get caught up in what is going wrong
Play games (we like cards)
Remember what bugs you about your partner, you probably found endearing earlier
Find your own purpose but share it with your partner, celebrate each other's paths
Give to others
Give your whole heart to each other
Give your whole heart to your family
Enjoy it, the ups and downs (ha)
I love you more than a million chocolate covered mountains. I wish you the same love for your partner and cherubs.