Fifteen or sixteen years ago (I'm pretty sure it was sixteen) I met the most incredible, gentlest, sweetest, considerate and loving man.
Nine years ago today I married him.
We had originally planned to marry on the 7th of September, but as life would have it, we were in the midst of the grief of losing my brother, Chris, so we cancelled the wedding for that date. But, we had prepared for a marriage not only a wedding and we were ready to be married even if it would not be as we had planned.
So we contacted our priest, Father Morgan, and asked him if he would PLEASE, PLEASE allow us to have a small ceremony as soon as possible even though he had weddings scheduled for every Saturday for the next several months.
He graciously told us we could do it on the upcoming Saturday, the 14th, at 11:00 a.m. We were thrilled and grateful. We invited some of the people we worked with and immediate family.
Then by the grace of God, other things started to fall into place.
Ms. Ellie, the event planner and friend that was going to be doing the decorations for the wedding on the 7th, heard we were getting married and contacted us and said she could do the decorations for the 14th. Celeste, the florist and friend, quickly put some flowers together and a friend, Charlsey, gave us a gift certificate for a dinner for 20 people.
We were all still emotionally raw from the loss of my brother and we missed the other 100 people that had originally planned to attend, but we found peace, love and comfort in those that did attend.
I will never forget that day. It was a beautiful act of kindness of all those that pulled that wedding and little reception together. Chris was a photographer and was going to take some of the pictures and had a friend, Shane, lined up to take the rest with his guidance. So, we have no professionally taken pictures but Shane and many of our other friends and family did what they could to record this day for us.
It even seemed more fitting that we had our little reception in the classroom where we spent every Thursday evening for seven or so months in our RCIA class rather than in a hotel ball room.
It was there that we built a relationship together with God. We each had our own relationship with Him, but through that spiritual journey we built a relationship as a couple with Him.
Ronnie had the wonderful idea to celebrate our nine years of marriage by attending Mass in the very same chuch we exchanged our vows. So we will be heading to Corpus Christi this weekend to do that very thing. I cannot wait. It will be a joy.
Now, everyone always asks, "How did you know Ron was the one?"
Sorry to say my answer is the same as most everybody's, "I just knew". In my heart, the minute I looked in his eyes, I was home. That's all there was to it.
But, there was one incident that made it real.
He had come to visit for the weekend. We went to HEB so he could get some cash.
As he was getting out of the truck, he asked if I was going in with him. We were new in our relationship and because I am short and bowlegged, people tend to stare sometimes, so I did not want to subject him to that...yet. I told him that he might get embarrassed if I went in with him because sometimes people stare and you know what he said??
He said, "I don't care if people stare, I am just proud to be with you." Be still my heart.
I thank the Lord as often as I can for bringing such a wonderful joy into my life. I use the words, "as often as I can" simply because sometimes I take for granted how precious it is to be blessed with a man like him. I can truly say I know the meaning of love because he shows me in everything he does. I know I don't reach the bar he sets for selflessness, but I hope he will continue to let me try for a very long time.
The last little story I want to tell you is about the song we picked as our wedding song.
The singer we had chosen suggested I Will Be Here by Stephen Curtis Chapman as the wedding song. I had never heard it so, of course, impatient me just HAD to go buy the disk.
We trekked out to Wally World, a Ron-ism for Wal Mart, and I tore into the package as soon as we got back in the truck. I pushed the disk into the player and waited.... The first words played, "If tomorrow morning you wake up and the sun does not appear, I will be here" and tears streamed down my face. At the time, I did not know why the song evoked such strong emotion, but now I believe my soul knew the heartache that was to come with my brother. For me losing Chris was like the sun not appearing. But, my soul also knew that this was the man that would always be here, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part, and I for him.
We have enjoyed many wonderful moments together and endured tough times, some loss, hurt and even disagreements :). We are still here, though!! Yay!
I love you Ronnie Ray Smethers!!
I hope you will listen, it is a beautiful, beautiful song.
Note: Stephen Curtis Chapman wrote this song for his wife many years ago. Click to read the story behind this song. It is very interesting. No matter what life would bring, even a tragedy he had no idea at that time that his family would endure, he wanted her to know he would always be there. It is a true testament to marriage and I am very glad it was the song that represented our intentions.