Friday, July 20, 2012

For Better Or For Much, Much Worse

Since Liv was born, I only coordinate a handful of weddings each year.  Well, since Carpenter was born, only two.  Honestly, when Carpenter was born, I tried my best to get out of doing the weddings I already had booked.  But I couldn't leave people in a lurch, and I muddled through the best I could.  This past weekend was the blessed day for the second of the two couples.  

Now, I know we all say it over and over, but I'm not the same person I was before February 2012.  So, I was pretty concerned about my ability to jump back on such a big horse.  But, doing the flowers, it all started to come back.  Everything felt a lot like my old normal.  

I arrived far too early at the church and began directing people here and there, making sure the photographer got all her shots before the rain clouds moved in.  It was as if I hadn't missed a beat.  People followed my instructions and we kept moving very smoothly.  After I sent a smiling bride down the aisle, I snuck out into the dressing rooms to clean up everything.  It wasn't until far into the ceremony that I had a moment to peek in on the celebration.  

This was the sweetest couple ever.  Still in college, green as they come, but knowing they wanted to be together forever.  I felt myself tearing up (as I always do) during the vows they wrote for each other.  I thought at first that I was just reliving the happiness I felt when Mike and I were married.  But, honestly, I found that for the first time, I truly got the meaning of our words.  

Mike and I are pretty traditional, so we stuck with traditional vows.  For the life of me, I can't seem to find a copy anywhere of our Order of Ceremony, but I do know one statement that we said that day, but I never truly understood:  "for better or for worse."  

We promised each other that "for better or for worse," we would stick together, work it out, and be a family--forever.  And we knew what "better" meant.  "Better" is obviously the easy part.  But "worse?"  Well, "worse" can get so much worse than you ever imagine while you're standing up there, looking lovingly at one another. 

No one tells you that "worse" can mean dealing with your child's death.

There were are days, especially in the first two months after Carpenter died, that I have felt the strain.  I remember one day, I looked at Mike and I said the most hurtful thing I can remember ever saying to him:  "I'm not happy."  And I wasn't.  I was depressed, felt horribly alone, and could barely find any reason to get up in the mornings.  We couldn't find common ground in our grief.  But no one had ever promised me happiness.  He had promised me that no matter how bad it got, he would be there for me.  And that's exactly what happened.  

That "I'm not happy" opened up a whole new side to our relationship, where we realized that we were going to have to work to keep our promises.  Where we realized that "better" had been fun and easy, but when "worse" comes around, it's time to strap in and make sure we get through it.  I can't lie and say I did the most work.  I didn't even pull my own weight most of the time.  Mike carried me through the darkest days, and he's the main reason I can stand to write this today.  

He's sitting behind me right now while I write this, watching a stupid video, with no clue what I'm doing.  So, I'm sure he'll be embarrassed/emotional when he reads this.  But I want to make him a promise now.  Now that I really have a clue what I'm promising.  Mike, I will always be there with you, for better or for worse.  For much, much worse.  Thank you for always being there for me.


  1. Wow. What a moving & emotional post, I love it Annie! Your relationship with Mike is so much like mine & Eric's. My thoughts & emotions mirror yours and without E, I would be lost too. Love you honey! <3

  2. Thanks for reading! Aren't we so lucky to have such great men? Not always perfect, but always there. PS, Mike cried when he read this. :) Love you right back!

  3. Thanks for continuing to show me what true love is all about.