H+M e-mailed their love story, which I was thrilled to shape into a prelude to their marriage vows.
……..After years of maintaining an online dating profile, M decided to “let go of expectations.” H was the last guy from whom she accepted a message. Finding each other was an amazing, unexpected surprise. On your first date, you conversed for hours – or rather H mostly chatted and M mostly listened. About ten Turkish coffees and many pastries later, both learned much. Each revealed personalities, pasts, families, and distinctive Dominican and Turkish cultural heritages. Quickly M recognized H as “the one.”
M and H, you are different. M is a social worker and psychotherapist who works with school-aged children and H is an Electronic Engineer. Yet in the areas that matter most, you share a great deal. Hopes and dreams run parallel. In fact, before you contacted one another digitally, the origins of your bond existed. All of life’s experiences drew each to the other. From the first date onward, daydreaming about future plans proved sweetly easy.
You help inspire one another. H is taking courses to improve his English, and M is learning Turkish. You support and depend on one another. When H became sick and stayed in a hospital, M remained next to his bedside, non-stop, for three days. And when M feels stressed, H is learning to interpret her silent needs. Like most couples, arguments do surface. Both are stubborn and steadfast. Fortunately, peace does return. You cannot be without each other for long. After waiting to find love, you know that every moment is precious. Neither wishes to wait – to allow time to pass without any good reason – to start a family of your own.
Indeed, above all, both believe in the value of families. Within the family, we grow more kind and charitable. Ideally, families provide space in which individuals become resilient enough to tackle challenges. Within our family, we feel secure and therefore brave and confident. Luckily, M’s family embraced and adopted H in their own. Likewise, H’s family has embraced and adopted M in their own. Your strong families will be the foundation of the one formally created today Marriage is the closest, most intimate of family ties. We may not choose our parents or siblings or children. But we ought to freely and wise choose a full partner with whom to navigate daily trials and celebrate joys. And thus marriage offers the greatest opportunity to love and be loved in return.
In the words of Frederick Buechner: “They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even—for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health—when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together… The question is, what do they get in return? They get each other in return… There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to… There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. If they have children, they can give them, as well as each other, roots and wings. If they don’t have children, they each become the other’s child. They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”