Thursday, May 7, 2009

10 years ago today

Ten years ago today, I:

• Woke in bed alone, at the age of twenty-three, for the first time in four years. Alone, that is, except for Pepper (I let her sleep on our bed with me..... just this once.... because I had spent the night at home alone).
• Greeted my girlfriends and my sister at the door as they all slowly arrived.
• Stepped into a dress I would wear this one special day. A memory to last the rest of my life.
• Was choked with emotion that I was going to be making official, in front of our loved ones, the commitment I had already made, years before as a 17 year-old teenager really, to live out my days with my Stevie (aka Lemons.... aka McLemons.... the bells of St Clements... yes, I do call him that).
• Felt like nothing, ever, anytime, was ever going to come close to being so special (forgive me, Lenny, but I was slightly incorrect on that one).
• Was so excited because in two days' time, ten years ago, we were boarding a plane to London to take an eight week trip around Europe for our honeymoon.
• Was just about the most happy and fulfilled I've ever felt in my life.
• Had no idea the course our lives would change, virtually immediately from that day on, as we decided to have a family of our own.
• Was told more than once by the wedding photographer that she'd "like to get some more serious, straight-faced shots now"... because I was grinning from sun up to sun down like a giddy, happy fool. Not that there's anything wrong with that, in my books! Hence, the "serious" shots are ridiculous and look forced because all I wanted to do was beam.
• Also had no idea we would produce two most magnificent specimens of children, nor lose so very many more along the way.
• Thought I was the most bootiful I would ever be in my life. I certainly felt as beautiful as I was ever gonna get!
• Never once paused to reflect and give silent thanks for everything that I had in my life, a regrettable part of being a 20-something who feels "on top of the world".
• Didn't see all that we had achieved, together as a couple, or that we even had each other in the manner in which we did. Basically, I took a lot for granted and as a "given".
• Was thankful and relieved that my sister had thought of everything in regards to the smaller details of the day - right down to taking a disposable camera into the fitting room of a dress shop (something I would never have dreamed of doing, let alone think of!) to snap the detail on a halter neck dress that I adored, could never afford and eventually had a dressmaker masterfully replicate and tailor to me.
• Had the day of my life.

It was the day we got married, but we were already bound together long before then. From the moment I met Steve, I felt a sense of belonging. By the time we were together three weeks, I had the warm, fuzzy, safe, comfortable feeling (like a familiar old snuggly blanket to curl up under) of having known him much longer. We fit. We bunker down and get through. Everything. We are a team.

It's a soppy, overused saying but, oh, how it's true:

Ten years ago today, I really did marry my BFF.

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