When I was a kid, 20 years seemed like forever.
I couldn’t fathom being 20 years old, much less remembering something that had actually happened two decades before.
And yet, here we are 20 years to the day since we said “I do.” Where has the time gone? Can it really be that long since that night in the little church across the street from my old high school?
The memories are many and few at the same time. It was a whirlwind of activity, trying to fit a rehearsal, wedding and honeymoon into a four-day window that my newly acquired job allowed. The blur is interrupted by the moments, some of them pretty funny.
- My best man Ricky kept banging on the bathroom door every 30 seconds as I tried to get ready, demanding to know when I would be done. Why? Who knows?
- The wicks in the candle lighters went out about a minute after my nephew and cousin started lighting them. Two of the groomsmen had to light them with cigarette lighters. Keep the Alabama jokes to yourselves.
- The prayer bench must have been made of concrete because my knees were killing me. I thought about praying for the minister to hurry up, but reconsidered.
- I kept thinking that the reception area was really hot for it to be December. That fact that 100 people were stuffed into a space the size of a master bedroom never crossed my mind. Preoccupied, I guess.
- How naive and trusting was I? One of my groomsmen asked me for my car keys and my luggage at one point after the ceremony and I dutifully handed them over. I’m not sure what is more surprising — that I actually did that or that there was nothing, nothing done to our car and all our luggage was in the back. What were my boys thinking?
- Our first post-marriage meal was at a Burger King drive through. Don’t tell me I don’t know how to treat a woman.
But what I remember most is how beautiful she looked. With the exception of the day our son was born, I have never seen her more radiant and happy than that night. I still wonder sometimes why she walked down that aisle for me, but I thank God every day that she did. Our life together hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been interesting and there’s never been a dull moment.
I love you, babe. Here’s to another 20.