The statistics on any marriage making it nowadays are a glass half full at best, and the statistics on marriages surviving the loss of a child are staggering (some studies citing a 90% divorce rate). When reflecting on the arrival of this third anniversary, there is no doubt in my mind as to how we have made it through another year despite the pain of this loss... hard work. Marriage is not always easy, it is not always for better, but it is always our top priority. Early on in this journey through grief, we were fortunate to have parents who reminded us that we couldn't just take for granted that we would stay together through this. This dose of reality has inspired us to constantly work at keeping the lines of communication open with one another, even when it would have just been easier to shut down.
Waking up this morning and thinking about this day, about what it means and represents, I thank God for having given me the insight early on to marry not just "mister right," but the "right man." So many couples vow to be together for better or for worse, without realizing that the for betters are not a guarantee, and the for worses are not necessarily fifty years away. They repeat a chain of words that they have heard uttered hundreds of times in life, in movies, in stories, and don't really understand their meaning or the depth of that commitment. For Better or For Worse means, I will not run from you when times are uncomfortable. I will not start over with someone else because it is easier. I will not turn my back on you when you have turned your back on yourself. I will not judge you, but instead try to understand.
In our short marriage, the for worse came far more quickly than either of us could have ever imagined. We are just kids ourselves, we could never have anticipated being tested this way or having to endure this kind of pain. I don't know why God has laid this heavy cross over our shoulders so early on, and most days my mind just gets stuck on the anger that I feel over that, but not today. Today I am thankful for the love of the right man, my best friend.
The majority of this last year of marriage has been spent in a state of pain and sadness, and as easy as it would be to get sucked into that abyss permanently, we cannot allow this loss to define our whole marriage. Sometimes I forget how young we are, how many years there are still ahead. Even if just for today, in the bittersweetness of this week that meshes both a day that celebrates our commitment to, and love for one another, and my husbands first Father's Day, I will hold out hope and believe that we have had our share of for worse, and the for better days are still to come.