I spent this past weekend in Nashville, TN attending a wedding with my children. This trip was our first road trip without Laura, and the ride down was challenging at times, even lonely. Challenging because we took a vow almost 12 years ago to “share all that is to come; to speak and to listen.” Two things I can no longer do with her.
I never gave our wedding vows much thought until I listened this past weekend intently and let each word sink in. The prose, albeit simple, is beautiful and encapsulates the joys and pains of marriage. One passage that stood out to me was, “To Inspire and To Respond.”
So basic, yet so profound.
Laura inspired me to be a better person and in return, I responded with love, care, and compassion. When she was battling cancer, I made sure always to be there by her side and to provide words of hope and courage. I think back to a time when she had a look of utter defeat on her face. I held her shoulders while looking firmly into her eyes, and said, “Do NOT give up hope. You WILL get through this. We WILL get through this together.” She needed those words of inspiration, and I responded.
Although “in sickness and in health; for as long as we both shall live.” came much too soon for us, I think it’s important to reflect back on those vows. Marriage is quite simple. In fact, the roadmap is all laid out in your vows. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Only then will you see how deep your love truly is.