His ring finger is naked. Were I willing to buy it, he is in need of his fourth wedding band.
He forgets anniversaries occasionally and birthdays.
His desire to write poetry and love letters exceeds the time available so I live with the promise that when his disposable income of time increases, so will his productivity in writing to me.
(If we were to tell my side of the story, it would sound much the same. I was on my original wedding band until this Christmas. But this isn’t my side of the story.)
I notice it at the oddest times, usually under pressure, as we search through his wallet; my youthful handwriting in blue ink graces a small piece of paper. The folds seem ancient, soft paper fibers striving to hold on to one another, feeling the way my abdomen felt after the birth of my first son. It’s only been eight years but that paper has traveled thousands of miles, dozens of time zones, made its home in his wallet in four countries. I’ve seen it rushed past, shoved aside as we attempt to find the suddenly required papers in rural border crossings. I’ve seen it littering the floor along with social security card and license when our children discover his wallet unguarded and dismantle it. But what I’ve really seen?
I’ve seen that paper that trembled in his hand eight years ago as he vowed his life to mine guide him in his love. I have not kept every promise I made that day. Neither has he. We have neither loved as tenderly nor prayed as fervently as our idealistic, unmarried selves promised to. I promised to make time for him to sit at the feet of Jesus daily; with two small boys I feel successful when I get us all to bedtime alive.
Yet while we have at times failed the letter of the vow, he has lived by the spirit. He has lost wedding bands but he hasn’t lost me, or his love for me. I’m learning what it means to be cherished.