This wasn’t how I imagined I would spend my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Quiet. Completely lacking in fanfare and celebration. Unnoticed except by the two of us.
Just another day, really.
We got married on a hot day in August in a small town in Alabama. Early that afternoon, after the bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s luncheons, it rained, so that by the time we assembled at the church for pictures around four o’clock, you could cut the humidity with a knife. I remember little about the ceremony, except walking down the aisle and seeing my grandmother, who had been in poor health, beaming at me from her spot in the pew on the third row. I cried, not because I was getting married, but because I was so happy my grandmother was able to be there.
I wore my sister’s dress, and a headpiece so heinous that I can’t even begin to describe it. My bridesmaids wore mint green tea-length dresses with pumps that were dyed to match. The punch that was served in the Fellowship Hall at the reception was mint green, too.
My new husband and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. As we gazed out at Diamond Head from our hotel balcony, we promised we would make a return trip on our tenth anniversary.
That didn’t happen. By our tenth anniversary, we had three children under the age of eight and life was busy. We said we would do it for our twentieth anniversary. That didn’t happen, either. We had just completed a major renovation on our house, and life was still busy. Maybe our twenty-fifth.
But we didn’t go. Just as happened on our tenth and our twentieth, there were more important things going on.
We were too busy living.
And I wouldn’t trade a single moment at a hot baseball game or a seemingly endless dance recital for all the Mai Tais and magnificent Pacific sunsets in the world.
Most of our lives are lived in the small moments, in the ordinary. Truly extraordinary is the ability to find meaning in those things that don’t involve announcements or celebrations or a passport.
It’s the little things. Never have I been more convinced of the truth of this statement.
Will I regret not taking that anniversary trip? Perhaps. But probably not.
I am certain, though, that I will never regret spending an ordinary day with my husband. It’s what living is all about.