I don’t remember my wedding vows. My husband and I wrote them together, and we stumbled through them together on our wedding day – nine years ago today. But unless I managed to find a working cassette player and listened to the recording again, I would not be able to tell you what they included. Something about love and respect, I’m sure.
But what I do remember is the reading we selected for the ceremony, which, thanks to Rufus Wainwright, we also danced to for our first dance.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29
When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least.
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
These words have held me up, held us up, through the best and worst moments. They remind me when I feel worthless that someone values me more than anything else in the world. They remind him that I love him as he is not as he expected to be to others. They remind us that just because we own less than some people doesn’t mean we have less.
These words bring us back to the moment we first said I love you, to the moment we said I do, and to each moment when we chose to stay side by side.
Happy anniversary, Sweet Pea.