Seventeen years ago, on September 26, 1998, standing on a St. Augustine lawn at The King and Prince Resort, two people agreed to love, honor, and cherish each other til death do them part. It was out of a fairy tale, if you had a fairy tale with leftover tropical storm winds, fresh and soggy sod down the aisle, and humidity that made the cake (that was inside) start melting and toppling over.
The night was beautiful. Planned around football schedules, everyone who was able to attend did. We even had a few wedding crashers! My dad’s band played as long as the hotel would let them and the next morning, from the “round room” we watched the sun rise over the ocean as Mr. and Mrs. Anthoine. It was perfection.
Over the years, life happened. Loss happened. Life kept happening, good and bad.
Laughter filled rooms that were later filled with tears.
Events were celebrated in high style and others were marked simply with grace and honor.
Life changed us. For better and for worse.
We lost our way, and in it, our passion for one another.
Today marks our last anniversary.
September 26, 2015.
We’re technically still married, though divorce papers are filed and waiting for a FINAL stamp that will replace “til death do us part” with “til the judge says we’re no longer married.”
We stood before God and everybody seventeen years ago and took vows we thought we would never break. In fact, we sat in the “oh shit” room in a hospital and swore we would never “be a statistic.” But here we are. Now we have new vows to carry us through the future.
We vow to love each other in the way only parents who share the loss of a child can.
We vow to respect each other in the way only parents who have the same hopes and dreams for their son can.
We vow to co-parent with grace and dignity and promise to never speak ill of the other in front of Henry.
We vow to help each other in a time of need.
We vow to find happiness that was lost between us. It’s out there for both of us to find.
We vow to remember the 6210 days between our wedding day and today as they were, not with regret.
We vow to love, honor, and cherish Henry and the memory of Charlie til death do us part.
Happy seventeenth anniversary, Jason! Here’s to whatever’s next for both of us!