It would also mark Mary Grace's one year birthday; had she joined our life here on earth. Last year on this anniversary I was in a completely different state of mind. I was still very focused on the "what if she had lived" scenario. I don't think you ever completely move on from that place. It just occurs less often now; that my mind pauses to imagine her as a healthy one year old...possibly taking first steps...grinning, giggling, following Isabel around like a relentless little puppy. Sometimes it's like a sweet almost-memory for me...so real that I can almost remember it happening. Of course, that is my own fantasy land. She wouldn't have been healthy even if she could have lived. What is reality is that she is healthy and healed in heaven...and God-willing, I will meet her there one day.
This year I feel much more able to celebrate my wedding anniversary! I was still caught in the unwillingness of allowing myself to want to be happy...everything was still too fresh last year. But this year I've even been anticipating the date with great joy and very few of the conflicting feelings I had last year.
I was recently sharing my story about Mary Grace and our other failed pregnancies with a lady who had lost a baby right after birth. She looked at me at one point and said, "You know you are a statistic now; 50% of couples who have lost a child end up divorcing."
I was immediately flustered, I was so in shock! Not in shock that some marriages end in divorce after they lose a child...I can totally understand that. Maybe a little shocked at the percentage she gave. But mostly because I was thinking, "Oh you have no idea...me and Rob? There is not an inkling of a possibility of us ever divorcing! If only you knew us!" I don't mean to sound boastful or arrogant, but it's true! We are that solid in our marriage and let me tell you, we do work at it. Marriage takes alot of hard work...of give and take...of communication (and boy have we had some issues with the last one lately) ;) Not to say that we don't have work still to be done! There is always room for improvement and I know for sure that I could do a whole heck of a lot of improving. But nothing would ever break apart the sacrament and vocation with which we have committed ourselves to in front of God and our friends and family!
Always and Forever.
That is our motto. And to keep us strong in our love for each other, we love God first. We worship together at Mass. We serve together with Catholic Engaged Encounter. We go to confession as a family. We take time to thank God for our blessings and ask Him to protect what He has united. Our relationship with God is a vital part of what keeps our marriage together!
And something that I'm really excited about is the anniversary present we are giving ourselves!
A second honeymoon, you ask?
A new car?
No! Although those things are lovely we decided on a marriage encounter weekend!!
I can't wait! I am so excited! I have been wanting to go on one of these weekends since before I was pregnant with Mary Grace. I had heard about how exceptional the experience was and wanted to take advantage of a chance to work at our own relationship. And now we get to go to one in August!
So Happy Anniversary my Love! I'm so grateful to you for wanting our marriage to be successful till death do us part. We may have had our share of hardship in the past and there may be more to come, but our relationship is so much stronger because of it, and most importantly we have grown in our love for and faithfulness to God. Thank you for loving me the way you do and seeing the good in me. You are certainly my very best friend! I love you!
Always and Forever,
Awwww....we were so young!!! :)