Chocolate-Covered Ants

Remembering and Celebrating on Our First Anniversary

It’s been a year since we took that walk down the aisle. We’ve had a year filled with happiness, but it’s also been a difficult year because Mike’s mom spent half the year in the hospital and Marion’s grandmother has had her share of health problems as well.

In our first year we learned that marriage is about two people who are there to support one another no matter what comes their way. It’s about commitment, making a conscious decision to love your partner despite the difficulties.

The big day
Our anniversary day was reminiscent of our wedding day. We went to the restaurant where our wedding reception was held, and we were filled with the memories of our special day. We even looked back on some of the things that didn’t go exactly as planned and were able to laugh about them. (Ants attacked our chocolate M&M wedding favors just two days before the wedding. For any wedding guests who may be reading this, we served brand new M&M’s, so you didn’t eat chocolate-covered ants.)

Marion took a lot of time and put together some smaller albums of the leftover pictures that we didn’t use for our official wedding album. Looking over all those pictures brought the wedding to life again. Looking closely at the pictures, we could see relatives crying as we greeted Marion’s grandmother and aunts at the start of the wedding. Since her mother died, these women have been very special to her.

Since the first anniversary is supposed to be marked with a gift of paper, Mike bought Marion a lavender (her favorite color) journal and wrote a poem on the first page. Marion’s been taking some computer classes, and she constructed two love-letters to Mike—complete with computer icons to represent many of the words she wanted to express.

Mellowness of heart
We also know that marriage needs to be about enjoying each other. It was nice having a day to simply enjoy time spent together. Theologian Ronald Rolheiser speaks of the need for all Christians to have “mellowness of heart.” Sometimes we get wrapped up with work, family obligations, and just doing daily chores so that we have very little energy left to enjoy the moments of each day that we have reserved for each other. The best anniversary gift was being able to take a nice long romantic stroll.

We sometimes forget that Jesus stressed the importance of celebration. He was always with his friends eating and drinking and generally having a good time. Celebrating moments like our anniversary reminds us of our deep love for one another, our promise to love one another always, and it gives us a chance to reflect on how much we must love each other since we’re still together despite many obstacles that have already come our way.

Better together than apart
Our love continues to grow. We remind each other of our strengths and support each other in our weak moments. And that’s what love is really all about: loving when it’s both wonderful and hard. I think our first year has begun the process of setting us up for growing old together, years of both joy and pain, triumph and hardship. Just knowing that we’re committed to one another gives us both the knowledge that together we are far better than we could ever be apart.

And that’s why we’re married.

Mike and Marion tied the knot April 20, 2002. They live in New York City.