4 years ago yesterday, this mother was a blushing bride trying her hardest to let the stresses of a wedding day slide by.
What I remember most about that day - indulge me a little in this trip down memory lane, won't you ... was the love that surrounded us. It wrapped around us tightly - this love from our friends, some of whom were far far away but sent missives - funny and wise words of encouragement. My two beautiful bridesmaids, one of whom is soon going to be a mother herself. And our dear ORPC and BFEC friends who sang for us, and practically ran the wedding.
Most of all, the love from our families was palpable on that day. One of my brothers, whose 2nd little girl arrived just the day before, turning up in the morning completely sleep-deprived but there for his little sister nonetheless.
My dad, whose gushing smile as he walked me down the aisle, conveyed his pleasure in giving his only daughter away - a memory I will always hold dearly in my heart. My mom, dressed in her finest - indulging me in letting me pick out something for the day and for the dinner - for once.
And my new mother-in-law, and aunt-in-law, painstakingly preparing hand-sewn gift pockets containing cash, given away to all our friends who helped out in the wedding. And in decorating their beautiful home in our chosen colours - ivory and olive green.
Fast forward 4 years.
A million miles from dearly missed friends and family, a little homesick, but happy.
So marriage isn't a bed of roses by any means. And having a child... who sometimes can never do right by the daddy, and gets overly protected by the mommy, doesn't make it easy for either the husband or the wife.
And then there are the disappointments, the ugly side of in-law relationships, we need to overcome, mend, and heal.
And the countless future uncertainties we need to bravely face. Together.
Yet, still, here we are enjoying each other so so much, now a more complete unit with a little one to call our own.
Somebody wise at the church we've been attending one day got all the married couples to raise their hands and share how many years they've been together.
The hands started going up... "50 years!" boasted two elderly couples, "coming to 30!" said another handful.
The next question was a little tougher.
He asked, directing at the couples married for 50 years, "So have you reached perfection in your marriage?"
Seems fairly logical - that after 50 years you'd have ironed out all the kinks and transformed each other into the ideal marriage partner you've always hoped for, right?
Beth, one of the dear old ladies, smiling as she patted M's hand next to her, candidly said - "Well let's put it this way... our last argument with each other was just yesterday, so what do you think?"
The moral of the story was that in any relationship, one can never reach a zenith and stay there. That would mean that you've reached a plateau. There really isn't such a thing as a plateau in a relationship anyway.
You either draw closer to each other, or you drift apart.
Extending on this, this wise person observed that the same principle applies in our walk with God. But that's another story for another time.
I've decided that we're no where near wiser, after 4 years, in knowing how to make this marriage work. But I'm grateful, because no matter what we've got each other, and the love that surrounded us on that wedding day 4 years ago is still with us today.
And looking at the face of this little guy God gave to us is pretty awesome too.
A simple celebration was in order. Which meant I get to take a break from cooking - the second time during a weekday night since we got here!
"More chips, mommy?"
The glutton - ooh the greek salad with feta cheese and juicy lamb!