When Billy and I got engaged, we immediately leapt upon the idea of a winter wedding, both because of our mutual disdain for sweating and my blisters.
But as seemingly befalls all Reeves events that are geared toward cold weather, it was a balmy 75 degrees in Charlottesville 14 years ago today. While others were gleeful at the springlike weather, I had a momentary twinge of disappointment that there was no snow falling from the sky on January 3rd.
We could do nothing but laugh at the irony of dancing to “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” as small beads of sweat formed on our foreheads and my father cajoled Farmington Country Club to turn the air conditioning on full blast to keep our snowflake cake from melting.
It wasn’t the first time that things didn’t go as planned and it wasn’t the last.
We didn’t plan to leave DC as soon as we did. We didn’t plan to stay in our first house ten years. We didn’t plan on Billy leaving his firm to start his own. We didn’t plan on being disappointed by people we love. By each other. We didn’t plan on losing two parents in two years.
But we did plan on sticking together through sickness and health, good times and bad, disagreements and difficulties. And all those things we didn’t plan on have brought us great joy even in the midst of grief. But only because no matter what, we have always been on each other’s team. We have always loved hard. And that is the only plan that we aren’t deviating from.
And isn’t that what our vows were really about?
When things don’t go the way you plan, you have two choices. You can throw your hands up in the air and decide that karma or God or the universe is trying to tell you to give up.
Or you can remember that sometimes the things you don’t plan on come your way to remind you what’s really important. To remind you that a wedding is not the same thing as a marriage.
I don’t believe in fate or karma or destiny. I believe in choices. Billy and I chose each other 14 years ago today and we have chosen each other every day since. When things were easy and when they were hard. When things went according to plan and when they didn’t. Because we remembered that we are, and always have been, better together than we are apart.
And tonight, 14 years later, there is finally snow falling from the sky on January 3rd.
Happy Anniversary Billy. Thanks for loving me (and my lucky orange pants) all these years…
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