It’s interesting how the focus of my thinking has changed as the wedding has gotten closer. Of course, I’ve made an effort throughout this process to think about the marriage, not just the party. And those “marriage” thought came up more naturally while choosing a Ketubah text and writing the ceremony. But the truth is, most of my mental energy has been focused on planning the wedding. I mean, there’s just so much to do, you know? So many decisions to be made.
Except now, there really isn’t. We’ve really reached the end of the planning process. Sure, there are a ton of things left to do, and I’ve been working on wedding stuff every day. But literally, there is one decision (and it’s not a very difficult or consequential one) to be made. The rest is just doing. And with virtually nothing left to figure out, my brain has been free to meditate on this marriage thing we’re getting ourselves into.
Suddenly, stories I read online where a spouse becomes unexpectedly sick or disabled have rocked me to my core. Whereas before, those stories would have felt touching, and I would have been left with admiration for both spouses, now, I’m left with questions, a bit of anxiety, and a profound feeling of jumping off of a cliff. Of course, Steve and I have been committed to each other for some time, and if he had gotten into an accident six months or two years ago, I don’t think I would have left him just because we weren’t married. But still. There is something huge about making a promise to each other to stay together in the case of something tragic happening. There’s something about making an active commitment rather than a passive one that feels much more real, much more binding.
In just three weeks, we’ll be promising to stay together for better or for worse. And we’ve already been through some better, and some worse. From where I’m standing right now, though, it’s the act of making the promise that seems to be all the difference. I know I’ll be spending the next three weeks, and probably the next 30 years, trying to wrap my brain around what this commitment really means. It’s something I don’t think you can understand before you go through it. And now, facing down that cliff, I’m finally starting to grasp that. And I’m holding on to the fact that we’ll be jumping off that cliff together.