Today, in the presence of those we hold most dear, at the place where our love blossomed, I take you as my husband. I commit to this journey through the seasons of our love and lives together, and no matter what those seasons may bring, I promise to walk beside you. I will endeavor every day to be a worthy partner to you, to love you as you deserve to be loved, and to accept with gratitude the person that you are. I promise to adore and nurture you, soul, mind, and body, to help you become the person you want to be, to make you laugh, to make you think, to make you proud, and to raise our family with you in the spirit of these vows. May the vow I take today remain as vital as the Pungo River where we stand, and as endless as the complete circle of this ring.
I remember at our wedding, which was held in the Quaker style like Hudson’s memorial service, Jess said that she always loved outdoor weddings. She said outdoor weddings were much like life itself—you hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and somehow everything manages to turn out all right.
It was certainly true about the wedding. Tropical Storm Ernesto had blown through on Thursday night, leaving our wedding site totally flooded and tearing the tent at the reception site into pieces. But the waters receded, the tent company replaced the tent, all our friends and family made it town, and Saturday dawned bright and beautiful, and remained that way all day long.
Now, four years later, we are journeying through the darkest season of our lives. We are still hoping for the best. And yes, we are still preparing for the worst, but we are also hoping that we’ve already survived it.
No matter what those seasons may bring, I promise to walk beside you.
I love you, my dearest Ed. Happy anniversary. Here’s to the dawning of many more beautiful days after this terrible storm.