Today’s our 18th Wedding Anniversary

My wife, Sharon, and I have been married for 18 years now. It is and has been a wonderful marriage and I look forward to many more years with my wife and best friend.

We met in the late 80’s in Southern California where we both worked in the computer industry and had friends in common. We were both living in San Juan Capistrano and I still remember the day very clearly when I brazenly showed up on her doorstep one warm Saturday afternoon with a six-pack of beer in hand and asked if I might visit. Little did I know what a life changing and enhancing visit that would be.

Photos from our wedding on December 31st 1989

The sassy bride before the ceremony The pastor explains how it all works The pastor’s vows (we had on own as well)

The rings are delivered by my younger son, Chris The marriage certificate, myself, Sharon and the pastor Sharon, Patricia and Susan with Tequila Shooters

Sharon and Brenda with - more Tequila Shooters! Sharon and Susan - the Tequila Shooters are beginning to have an effect Sharon and I and my older son, Dan

Opening

Just as this marriage will be only what we make of it, so this marriage ceremony is ours to shape and share with you today.

There is ceremony and there are the things of our hearts and both have their places here today.

And so we each want to say a little about what it is we are doing here today because, to us, our marriage is a public affirmation and commitment to that which has grown between us.

And we can think of no one we would rather share these affirmations with than you, our friends.

Guests

Brenda Araya
Mike Bryga
Carl Chapman and Denise
Dave Christensen
Christopher Gallagher
Daniel Gallagher
Kathey Goss
Susan de la Portia
Patricia Webster

– – –

 

Counterpoint

(these were our vows in addition to the pastor’s)

 

Sharon: That in marriage, we will become one in many ways. We will not erase ourselves as individuals, but we will each think of “us” before we think of “I”.

Dennis: That fidelity is a deep truth that has no limits to its domain. It includes thoughts and intents as well as actions. We pledge absolute fidelity to each other.

Sharon: That continuing growth and increasing spirituality are the cornerstones of our joint purpose here.

Dennis: That habits, assumptions, dogma and taking things for granted are all anathema to what we are about.

Sharon: That honesty and self-understanding are among the greatest gifts we can give each other.

Dennis: That we will not obligate or encumber the other in anyway without their knowledge and approval.

Sharon: That we will never interfere with the other’s growth or self-expression.

Dennis: That we are equal and free from all roles and social expectations with respect to our genders.

Sharon: That we shall constantly challenge our own belief systems in the hope of revealing better ones.

Dennis: That while we may not always agree, we will always seek to understand the truth, where ever it lies, as our highest goal. It matters not who is right or wrong on any issue, only that we find understanding.

Sharon: That in all decisions, we will ask, “Is it for the highest good of all concerned?”.

Dennis: That we will keep no secrets from each other or ourselves. Our hearts and minds are and will remain open books to each other.

Sharon: That in joining our knowledge and skills together, we become a whole greater than the sum of our individual parts.

Dennis: That we enter this marriage without reservations or doubts about either ourself or our partner.

– – –

(and then a poem I read aloud about Sharon – she didn’t know I was going to do this)

About Sharon

I never thought I would meet someone like Sharon.
And, even when I imagined a partner for myself,
my vision fell short of the reality
I’ve realized she is.
Her intelligence and understanding are more
than a match for my own
and, like you, I can see only parts
of the wonder and complexity she is.

But there is one part of her that for me
shines brighter than all the rest
and that is her integrity.

She is like a bell that has been well cast;
she rings truth and clarity and honesty
in everything she does.

For me she is, and has been,
a challenge and a gift of immense proportions.
Her honesty has invited mine and
her clarity has broken through
the dark shadows of my past.

Because of what God has given me in her,
I once again have
the growing clarity and freedom and purpose
necessary to realize my best dreams.

Her truth and integrity in my life
have meant nothing less to me
than my own spiritual rebirth.

Amen.

Dennis

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One Response to “Today’s our 18th Wedding Anniversary”

  1. Congratulations, 18 years is spectacular! Enjoyed the wedding photos and vows, and reminded me of mine (married in a park, few guests). We, too, will have our 18th anniversary, August this year.