Butterflies Still Flying After 27 Years

Twenty-seven years ago this weekend I married my girlfriend.

Time can play tricks on you. While my brain assures me that more than two and half decades is a long time, my heart struggles to distinguish between last week and a decade ago. If anything, love seems to eliminate any semblance of time passing together.

Today we have two adult children, a dog and mortgage. But beyond that, I feel as if I’m still hanging out with my girlfriend. To this day she can still give me a case of the butterflies in my stomach when she enters into a room — just like when I first spotted her in a college history class.

My aunt once told me “always make sure to remember to hold onto the feeling of being two crazy kid in love.” Her marriage, one of the most romantic and beautiful relationships you’d ever see, only helped to underscore she’d nailed the formula.

And yes, I am still crazy for the the girl I nervously asked out to lunch one day after class.

We were – and still are – two very different people. But inside we found we shared a good number of specific core values for not only then, but also the future. And based on those – and the fact we were crazy about each other – we soon found ourselves standing at the alter taking the big plunge together.

Certain dates on the calendar seem to dislodge memories more than others – birthdays, holidays, or maybe even the first day of Spring. But for me, nothing compares to the day I married my girlfriend and never looked back.

Yes, twenty-seven years ago I finished up midterms and drove across town to our wedding rehearsal. And the next day, the most beautiful girl I ever saw walked down the aisle and into my life forever. I can still feel the softness of her skin as our hands joined; I can see the moisture of emotion in her eyes as we faced the minster. Yes, those moments are still that clear to me.

But along the way I’ve learned to listen to others and appreciate their wisdom.

Marriage, they say, is not about liking the same foods, same sports teams or even being together every waking moment. Marriage, much like the literal term, is about melding two different properties together and creating a singular entity. And in the physical marriage of two different properties, the little DNA making each unique still remains. The resulting outcome – if done right – ends up creating something much larger, stronger, and interesting.

Marriage, therefore, is not forging – the act of where one item is created under extreme pressure to shape and conform to a single mold. Marriage is more akin to making a giant pot of gumbo and recognizing and respecting of the difference that make the end result better. While there is a recipe, no two pots will every taste exactly the same.

Yes, I married my girlfriend – the fact she is now my wife is just a mere technicality.

– 30 –


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