Eleven (11) years ago, on August 9, 2008, Elliot and I got married. We’d known each other for approximately two (2) years when we got married, so we’ve known one another for about thirteen (13) years. Sometimes that feels like yesterday and sometimes it feels like we’ve known each other forever.
When Elliot and I got married, we were both established in our careers and many of the people we celebrated with were colleagues. We were married in the church where we were then members, First United Methodist Church of Downtown Orlando (FUMCO). When we began dating, finding a church where we were both comfortable was a big deal given our differing backgrounds. We found a home at FUMCO, even though the one precious elderly man who shouted “Amen” at various intervals along with the infrequent clapping was unnerving for Elliot at times. He was wont to whisper to me regularly, “there’s no clapping in church.” The pastor who married us, Britt Gilmore, also went on to baptize both of our boys despite the fact that he and his family moved to Ireland to be missionaries soon after we got married. Amazingly, they had visits scheduled during the scheduled baptisms, both of them, years apart.
After the ceremony at FUMCO on our wedding day, and taking some pictures, we joined our guests at the end of cocktail hour at the Ballroom at Church Street Station after a horse drawn carriage ride. That ride was one of the only surprises for Elliot that I was able to carry off! It was August in Orlando, so not the most comfortable, but we made do.
Going through some of the pictures from our wedding is truly bittersweet. We have changed jobs and lost touch with many of the people who came to our wedding. For instance, I had three living grandparents when we got married.
Both of my paternal grandparents (to the left of me in the picture) have passed away and now my boys only have one great grandparent, their maternal grandmother, who is standing next to Elliot in the picture above. Waiting to have children does have unintended consequences, sadly, but I am grateful for the time we had with them. Neither of my grandfathers met my boys and I do wish they had had that chance. Their legacy of commitment and loyalty to family lives on and we take the opportunity to tell the boys about them whenever we can.
The picture above is one of my favorite pictures of my family. Yes, there are a lot of us and I’m the shortest of them all.
Every event (and particularly weddings) amongst us has been an adventure. So many details and egos and expectations and someone is usually upset with someone else for something. The joys of a big family with lots of strong personalities. It can be a challenge, but the love and care and concern between the 6 of us is passing down to the next generation.
Thinking about the past is often safer than looking too far into the future right now. This anniversary lands during a time of uncertainty with a recent progression and adjusting medication. I look at my dear sweet husband of 11 years and my sweet boys and I ache with the knowledge that my illness and death will be devastating. It is an excruciatingly difficult task at times to stay in the moment, to be present.
Despite the murky details of the future, what I know today, on this, the 11th anniversary of arguably the most important decision I made, is that I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Being married to Elliot and all that comes with that, has been the best thing that ever happened to me.
Happy anniversary, my love. Together and Still Counting. 😘❤️