Twenty years ago tomorrow, Andy and I will celebrate twenty years of marriage. Given that neither one of us got this right the first time (with an exemption for our kids), this seems like a staggeringly long time. And yet, time is fickle – for it also seems like yesterday. Yesterday when I broke out in hives an hour before the wedding, scared out of my mind about what we were about to do. Could we do this right? Would our children be ok? My mother patting foundation all over my hyper-ventilating chest, Andy coming up to my parents’ bedroom to remind me that all was going to be more than fine. He was right.
Twenty years since I walked through my parents’ backyard, meeting Andy under my grandfather’s prayer shawl – held high by four poles – one held by his parents, another by my mom and dad, and our two sisters holding the remaining two. Our three boys and three nieces crowding around us as the rabbi began to speak (“Mommy, I want cake…is it time for cake yet?” “You’re gonna be my aunt now” “Stop pushing me” “Cake?”)…One little boy holding on to the sash of my dress, another grabbing a leg and the littlest rubbing his nose and making little sneezes. And Andy looking at me with more love than I had ever known, handsome, confident enough for the whole lot of us as we moved forward into this new life. I got stuck on my vows and the rabbi stopped to remind me that “we’re all here with you Mimi”…I nodded that I knew, but all that mattered was that Andy knew. And when he later said that the five of us were all getting married, you could hear the one child sigh “Oh brother”…We kissed through our laughter; Andy held the back of my head with one hand, and held me up with the other.
The rain stopped long enough for the ceremony and the party – the skies re-opened as everyone left. They say that’s a good omen. I have no idea if that’s true or not. What I do believe, is that which the rabbi reminded us under the chuppah – we are not lucky, we are blessed. And though he lets me keep my sneakers in the garage, and the contract under constant re-write, there’s nowhere to go without Andy. I am more sure of this today than I was twenty years ago. We have created history – some which I’m sure we recall with sorrow – most of which we can remember with pride and laughter. And twenty years from now? He’ll still be my anchor and I’ll be his kite.
We danced to this song twenty years ago, and though we’re hardly Fred and Ginger (probably more like Fred and Wilma), I don’t remember my feet touching the ground..I love you big guy..