It is a promise with a signed piece of paper and a ceremony of spoken words and kissing mouths.
Let's share life together.
If you are sick, I am retrieving hot lemon tea, blankets and bowls of stew. If you are well, I am grateful and we are flushing our faces with vigorous walks and dining room dancing. If you are sad, I am lending you my shoulder and shirt sleeve and taking you to fields, mountain tops, or the seaside for better breathing, for healing. If you are happy, I am happy and saying it; smiling it; singing it! If you are poor, I am hungry, filthy and collecting change from between the couch cushions. If you are wealthy, I am well-dressed, full-bellied and safely, sweetly sheltered.
We have been begging my brother for so long. Please marry that beautiful, sweet girl. Call her wife for the rest of your life and we will worry less and we will love you more, because you will not have lost that beautiful, sweet girl ---the girl with the biggest heart in town, the potter, the singer and the baker with the best pie around. ---We all secretly fear her flight, but try not to start fights. He is thoughtful, careful, wise, but stubborn and whenever marriage is mentioned, he is quick to quiet us with his heavier quiet, saying or implying that he is committed! --two cats committed! --years and years of devotion committed!
Last Friday night, my family gathers for an early Easter dinner. When my husband and I walk in with our daughter, my brother and his girlfriend give my seven-month-old and her cousin picture books about bunnies, springtime and painted eggs. Then they hand cards to my sister and I, cards asking if our girls, their nieces, might like to be their baby flower girls ...because they are getting married! Would we all like to attend their little wedding ceremony in the sun of early June, two months from now? And would I like to officiate? YES! Anything you want! YES! This is the happiest news! We are cheering and drinking champagne and laughing and hugging!
I want to say "I do" because I do love you and I do love this life with you. Because now that I have it and know it, to not have it and to no longer know it, would be unbearable. I choose you and you choose me, so let's put it in writing for anyone and everyone to see!