Annual Asseveration

Twenty-seven years ago today, Margaret Bamforth and I vowed to have and to hold, to love and to cherish one another, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, until we are parted by death.
This has not been the easiest year for us to live up to that promise. I won’t rehearse the litany of adverse circumstances from the past fifteen months, but we’ve been swimming hard lately. I’m sure I haven’t been the most agreeable character on earth, variously enshrouded by griefs and worries and feelings of failure. Through all of this, Margaret and I have held tight to each other, sometimes ducking under the big waves, always coming up for air and another round of dog-paddling. For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness, in health. This has not been an easy year, but the testing has reminded us how resilient our love has been.
Then last weekend, we drove hours and hours in a car stuffed with boxes of flower-jars, candle-holders, candles, oh, and Pippa and her luggage and ours. The drive was long, but smooth, and once we alit in Chicagoland, all the effort Margaret (and the Harrises!) put into preparation kept everything going smoothly.
There’s a point in the Episcopal marriage rite — I don’t think Tripp included it in Saturday’s liturgy, I’m not sure — where the prayer says, “Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties confirmed.” Whether Tripp said that or not, the whole experience of bringing Josiah to the altar to marry Laura absolutely had that effect on Margaret and me. Nothing has ever driven home to me as forcefully and as joyously the responsibility and the gift of marriage, and Margaret and I have been recollecting that revelation every day since last Saturday.
Margaret, I know you will read this: Let me say again before God and the world that nothing will ever part you from me, that not geography nor adversity nor finances nor afflictions will come between us. Together we have wrought wonderful things; together we will see more wonderful things yet. Our lives have been strengthened and our loyalties confirmed by the flourishing love of our children, by the supporting love of our friends and relatives, by a shared faith in divine grace, enduring hope, and above all in the forgiving, enlivening, sustaining love of God. Thank you for offering me that faith, sweetheart, and for holding me in that faith, and for promising always to keep me with you in faith. I love you, forever.

6 thoughts on “Annual Asseveration

  1. Amen. The two of you are a striking example of love and support freely given to each other and your example to me and to others I’m sure, revives a faith in marriage which allows me to admire and stand in awe of your long years together. Love always, Mom

  2. My original comment seems to have disappeared which is too bad because it said what I wanted to and now I’m not sure if it ever registered. Let me know if you got the comment starting “Amen.”

  3. No problem, Mom! I’m having a wee computer headache here that might be involved in the mysterious disappearing comment.

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