This post is dedicated to my amazing mother-in-law as she faces the last few weeks of her treatment. Hang in there! You are almost through it. And remember, what ever comes next, we are here!
I was married on a Saturday in late July in the church that my dad started over 20 years ago now. For years we had met in various rental locations, until when I was 16 we finally had finished building our own building. Six years later I stood at the front of the building pledging to love one man, this man, my man, for the rest of my life, for better or worse.
That was three and a half years ago. I am still in love with my husband and enjoy my daily roll as wife and mother to our two daughters. Over the past three plus years we have spent together we have celebrated abundant "better" and struggled through our share of "worse". Having two beautiful daughters in just under three years of marriage, buying a house, and watching God provide for us in new an unexpected ways are just a few of the "better" moments we have had. While an unexpected pregnancy while I was uninsured, difficulties at both of our jobs, and a tough economy have been just a few of the "worse" moments we have had to navigate. But what I wasn't expecting was how much of the "better" and "worse" would have nothing really to do with us.
You are always told that you don't just marry your spouse, your marry their family. I never doubted this statement truth. My husband and I are both very close to our families, and I knew that they would play a huge roll in our lives. What I wasn't expecting is for our vows, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health to be nearly as true in our relationships with them as with each other.
We have been married for nearly four years and in those years we have celebrated our families together. We have traveled to Gatlinburg, TN with his family to celebrate his parent's 30th wedding anniversary. We have spent a weekend in MD all crammed into my parents house, taking a dinner cruise around DC, to celebrated 40 years of marriage for my parents. We have celebrated my father's 60th birthday. We have rejoiced at the birth of a niece and nephew. We have celebrated the marriage of his brother. We have been touched to be involved in my younger brother's life as he attended college in the same town that we live in. We have watched him meet, court, fall in love with, and propose to an amazing young women. And come next June we will celebrate their love at a beautiful wedding that our two daughters will be flower girls in. We have toasted new jobs, and praised God for restored health. Together we have truly celebrated the "better", the "richer", and the "health" of our families.
But just as our marriage has had it's low points so have our families. We have watched women on both sides of the family battle cancer. We have watched as family members have lost jobs. We have struggled to help out when there are more bills then money. We have watched and prayed as marriages struggled, hearts were broken, and loss to personal to share in a blog were suffered.
We have loved, laughed, prayed, cried, rolled our eyes, fumed, forgiven, and held each other and each others families. It may be clique, but "no man is an island" so we live through the better moments and the not so good ones, the days of abundance and the periods of lean, the healthy days as well as the ones full of pain. Because we married their son, their daughter, their brother, their sister and in doing so pledge ourselves to these people. Till death do us part.