I woke with a smile and an eagerness to get on with my life.
Or at least the next chapter. Having met an awesome fellow at a house party three and a half years before, I had became a fiancée the previous fall and on this day was to become a wife.
I'd heard about cold feet, that peculiar phenomenon that occurs in some people prior to the wedding, an uncertainty or nervousness about the big step they're taking. For me, however, the sensation couldn't have been more different. I had never felt more sure of anything in my life and knew without question that I was moving in exactly the right direction, with the right person, at the right time. I was keen for the journey to begin.
That was 37 years ago (in case you don't want to be bothered with the math). Of course, the journey might have been a bit more rugged than my youthful naivete had envisioned back then. As many idealistic newlyweds I believed in the storybook charm of a model husband, of perfect children, a lovely home and a white picket fence.
The unrealistic part of that was that nowhere in this storybook tale was there ever any talk of mortgages, job woes, or changing interests. There are a lot of outside forces that insinuate themselves into a marriage. But when you're facing them with your best friend, your partner, your love, you soon realize that they only win if you let them. Marriage has its peaks and valleys; it's up to each half of a couple to decide whether they'll take the bad with the good as a united front and traverse them together or give up.
Bottom line, he's about as perfect as reality offers. Or at least perfect to me. And together we have invested ourselves 100% into this life of ours.
So on May 10 we will celebrate. Nothing major; there have been some big renovations and purchases which we have decided are treat enough. But in tacit agreement we both knew after that reaching that conclusion, that our day would not go unacknowledged.
We've heard people say about their anniversary that it's just another day. Which makes me rather sad. Life has a way of intruding upon the idealistic notions of romance and passion. Couples owe it to themselves and to their marriage to celebrate the love that brought them, and held them, together.
Today then, in my search for images, I feel like celebrating all of that good stuff. Not just because of my impending anniversary, but for all of the newlyweds, as well as the old married folks, and the soon-to-be-marrieds. Here then are two fantastic clipart collections that have something for every romantic project imaginable, from wedding invitations to a personal pronouncement of undying devotion: