Snapshot 4: The First Year

There is a faith in loving fiercely

the one who is rightfully yours,

especially if you have

waited years and especially

if part of you never believed

you could deserve this

loved and beckoning hand

held out to you this way.

From “The Truelove,” David Whyte

One year ago, Henry and I sat on a bench in front of Hotel Albuquerque, waiting for a cab. My wedding dress was draped over my lap, and I held my bouquet, the stems still wet from a night in the hotel bathtub where I stored it to keep the petals from wilting. Hot bowls of pozole and menudo awaited us at my Aunt Rita’s house, where we would open gifts with family and out of town friends.

The night before, after cruising us through Old Town and a blocked off downtown street fair in his ’62 Bonneville Classic, our friend Michael had dropped us off at the hotel. With all the details of the ceremony and reception, the food, the music, the borrowed and blue, we’d forgotten to arrange for a ride back to our house. And so we waited, holding hands, sleep deprived and hungry, high on all the love, feeling held by our community, receiving the well wishes of other hotel guests who passed us on their way to the lobby, so friggin’ happy.

Just like that, we’re married. We are married. I, Karen Michelle Otero, am married to Henry Joseph Rael.

Before we talked about marriage, I would withdraw to a shadowy part of me when I felt slighted or taken for granted in our relationship. That place was called “Because We’re Not Married.” He says “my house” instead of “our house” because we’re not married. He doesn’t plan date nights because we’re not married. We don’t talk about marriage because we’re not married. That place existed before Henry, though it had other names (“He Doesn’t Really Love Me” was popular for a time). Some wounds work like a Pez dispenser. Release one and another pops into place. But something shifted in me when Henry and I exchanged vows, had already loosened as we prepared for marriage. It wasn’t magic. It was maturity, faith, recognition of and respect for the journey I traveled to meet this man at the altar.

Happy Anniversary, Henry. I love you.

Published in: on October 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful!

  2. So beautiful. Thank you for reminding us how very very lucky we are to have met (and married) our incredible husbands. I hope you read this every year!

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