Friday, June 29, 2012

Dear Bride-to-Be


Dear Bride-to-Be,

Later today--sixteen years ago--you will walk down the aisle and marry the man with whom you have chosen to share the rest of your life.  Sixteen years later, I can tell you that you have chosen well <wink>.

We were imbeciles, he'd say of your college days, where life was more about which cafe to meet at for lunch than making that 8 o'clock O Chem class.  But you--the indignant young woman just stepping into your independent adult life--always knew what you were doing.  You knew when a relationship was unfair and uneven to walk away from it, and you knew a good melon when you thumped one.  Oh, wait, that was his line.

Physical attraction is easy.  Having chemistry takes time and real interaction.  You were lucky to have had both.  It helps that you knew you were able to fix his dorky haircut and refurbish his outdated wardrobe, because the more time you spent with him, the more you became aware that the steady yet gentle, calm and assured disposition he possessed was what you had been missing in your tubulent childhood.  You were wise to take anchor. 

Over the years, he will guide you toward a love for the fine arts.  He will take you to ballets, symphonies, plays, concerts, and musicals.  He will suggest that you read books that will blow your mind.  He will play music that touches your soul.  He will queue movies to watch together that allow you to exchange words without speaking to one another.  He will even be able to--through passive diffusion--make you 'like' some sports over the years, and convince you to go throw some balls on a baseball field

And then there's food.  He will provide the opportunity for you to sample foods from all over the world, wines of all varieties, and restaurants from near to far.  Ethnic dishes will become everyday vocabulary, and Friday nights will be dinner date nights, until, of course, kiddos enter your lives.  One of your favorite foods from the good old days of college is pho--Vietnamese beef noodle soup--served with a plate of condiments of basil leaves, bean sprouts, jalapenos slices, and lime wedges.  Since he knew well of your OCD issues and how you don't like citrus smells lingering on your fingertips, he will always squeeze your lime into the soup for you, even without your asking. 

Over the years, you will do a thing or two for him as well.  Before he met you, he was a clam.  You were able to cleverly pry him loose so that he spilled his guts and talked.  Of family, burdens, responsibilities; of passions, dreams, what-ifs; of sadness, distress, misery; of life, death, and everything in between.  You will continue those conversations for years and years to come.  You will also continue to show him how to express outward affection, shower your future children with hugs and kisses, and remind him to hold hands with you every now and then--just for that needed reassurance.

Life won't always be smooth sailing; there will be bumps in the roads.  But you will always have each other.  Even when you feel like you are being punished for wanting something--when it seems like there would be nothing else in the world you'd want more--I can assure you, that you will become a mommy, to not one, but two beautiful children.  That you will be able to provide them the things you didn't have growing up.  That they will be your pride and joy.  Your Sun and Moon.

On this very important day, I know you have the jitters.  You are worried about the ceremony, about your dress and your makeup, about repeating the vows correctly, about everything going 'right'.  They really won't matter, because this entire day will be images only to be remembered by the photos in your wedding album.  Trust me.  Ten, fifteen years from now, all those things will become such trivial matters, of such minor importance.  Of course, this is not meant to take away from the meaning of the celebration of your wedding day, but what is ultimately most important is all the new memories you will be creating together as a family from this day forward.

Soon, you will walk down that aisle, and say the words that make your voice shake--not because you are scared of all those promises--but because 150 people in the audience will be all-ears on you.  But I'll let you in on a secret: the judge's voice will be shakier than yours, so you don't have to feel so self-conscious.  In fact, self-consciousness will one day begin to fade as you ease more comfortably into yourself as a person, a woman, and a mother.  It will never go away completely, but it will subside and you will find life much easier outside the confines of self-doubt and insecurity.

Being that I am sixteen years older than you, with more years of cynicism life experience than you, I only have one word of advice for your next sixteen years: gratitude.  Live with that in your heart and life will not forsake you. 

So, Dear Bride-to-Be, like I said, you done yourself good.  You have a good man waiting for you at the end of the aisle, who will become a wonderful husband and a dedicated father.  One more added plus: his exceptional writing skills will one day inspire you to write, and evoke a passion you never knew you had.  He has to be a great catch.  After all, he squeezes your lime, yo!

Happy Wedding Day to you, and Happy Anniversary to me and the Hubs!

Sincerely,
Me


34 comments:

  1. Oh that is so sweet! I love this letter, and I hope that you print it off to share with your husband, too. Happy anniversary!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! DH got to read the 'post preview' version already. But I will take your suggestion and print it out as a keepsake. =)

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  2. You are really lucky to have such a strong union. Lovely post, it brought tears to my eyes.

    Happy Anniversary!

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I really appreciate your kind words and your friendship! (HUG).

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  3. Awww... just beautiful. Love it. Happy, happy anniversary!!! And Pho, love it... I could eat it every day!!! :)

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    1. Yay, another fellow pho lover! I could eat it everyday, too! And it's just better with a splash of lime juice, don't you think? Thank you, Susi!

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  4. What a lovely letter! Relationships aren't always easy, but when you focus on the good, it keeps the bond stronger. Congrats on 16 years together!

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    1. Thank you, Janna! I do often tend to look at the positive side of things. (I hope you had a great camping trip this weekend!)

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  5. Just getting around to reading this post. I think this is my favorite, so far (as a new reader). I wish I could go back to my wedding day and give that bride a good talkin to also! It sounds like you and your hubs have had a wonderful relationship and life, thus far. Happy Anniversary and many MANY more to you both! :)

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    1. Thank you, Cassie! It has been a wonderful sixteen years. We battled infertility for many years, and now have two miracle children, so we are very blessed. =)

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    2. I just saw this response, via Memories Captured...I'm sorry to hear of your years of struggling with infertility, but everything happens for a reason and you were eventually blessed with a beautiful girl and boy :) God bless you and your hubby of 16 years! whew! That's almost (sadly) unheard of these days!

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    3. Yes, completely blessed with my two kiddos. Thank you for saying that, Cassie! We were the first among our friends to get married, so the 16 years do make me feel kinda old. But happy. =)

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  6. Hi! I followed over from the link up at Tiffany Noth's blog today. Really enjoyed this post. Boy, would I love to tell my bride-to-be self a thing or two! I look forward to looking around here at the rest of your posts...I love the concept of your blog!!

    http://joellhmorris.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you for coming by, Joell, and for your kind words! I guess Hindsight is what makes us wiser when we're older, isn't it? I do hope you like what you see here on this blog; I appreciate anyone who reads my rants and ramblings. =)

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  7. Belated Happy Anniversary to you both! The moments you recalled are so touching .... nice to take time to remember with our current hectic lives.

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    1. Thank you very much, Tran! I can't believe it's been sixteen years in the blink of an eye. It feels like so long ago, yet just like yesterday.

      I hope you and the kids are having a great summer!

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  8. Beautiful letter Sandra. Happy (late) Anniversary to you!

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    1. Thank you, Alison! And thank you for hosting the linkup!

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  9. This is a wonderful letter!
    Well written and very moving *tear*. Wonderful to have each other in your lives!

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    1. Aww, thank you for reading and your very kind comment, Kerstin! I am very blessed, and I am very thankful that we have each other!

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  10. Very cool concept for an anniversary post. And your husband? What a well-rounded guy! Definitely a keeper. ;) Happy Anniversary!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kristin! I wanted to write something a little different for 'the' anniversary post. Even though I wrote the letter to my younger self, it was really written to pay tribute to my To-Keep Hubby! =)

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  11. What a beautiful pictures and a beautiful tribute. Happy Anniversary!

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    1. Thank you for reading and your nice comment, Christine!

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  12. Oh what a beautiful love letter to your marriage! Love!

    {And happy anniversary!}

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    1. Thank you so much, Galit! You and Alison are awesome for hosting #MemoriesCaptured!

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  13. Lovely glance in the rear view mirror...captured all that's important!

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    1. I like that--'glance in the rear view mirror'! What a great way to describe the hindsight we accumulate over the years. Thanks so much for reading and your nice comment!

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  14. That was a wonderful post Sandra. I love seeing you guys together. He is such a great guy. My hub was so much like that when we were dating followed by 5 yrs of craziness!!! There is the residency, honeymoon baby, then another baby and 5 moves along with teen drama with my oldest...whew not fun at all...it was like riding the highest roller coaster know to man.... and finally he's getting back to his old self and maybe I am too which is very welcomed. I'm glad that you found such a rock because you definitely deserve it.

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    1. Awww, Helen, thank you! Those early years with infants and toddlers can be so hard for a marriage and the entire family. As the boys get older, things will just get smoother and better for you all. I see it going that direction already anyway. You're the best; thanks for reading!

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  15. How sweet - what a great way to remember.

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    1. Thank you, Katie, for reading this and your lovely comment! Happy Party tomorrow!

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  16. Oh I am late. Happy Anniversary to you, Sandra and hubby. :-) This is beautifully written as always.

    How wise a bride gets after years of marriage! :-) a perfect wedding is not in the details but in the people who are getting married.

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    1. Thank you, Imelda! How our perspectives change from the past to the present! Thank you for all your comments, and I'm sorry if you're still having trouble with the comment subscription thing. Please let me know if there's anything I can do on my end?!

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