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Devoted to one another

Originally Appeared in : 9817-8/16/18

Magan and I have celebrated our wedding anniversaries at a variety of locations.

 

Our first anniversary was spent in Atlanta. Our second, in Savannah.

 

We’ve enjoyed fancy dinners at a variety of locales, taken carriage rides down Bay Street and shopped in boutique stores.

 

As the years have progressed, the anniversary destinations have shifted a little closer to home. Gone are the day and weekend trips hours away from home, replaced by quiet dinners at local bistros, or even a Red Lobster. (Those cheddar biscuits are dee-lish.)

 

So when the Fourth of July had come and gone, discussions of when and where we would celebrate our anniversary that comes at the end of every July began.

 

“To be with you and have fun,” I said repeatedly, drawing a hard stare from my one true love each and every time.

 

“I know that,” Magan replied each time with pursed lips. “I mean, specifics.”

 

“We’ll figure it out,” I’d say, reassuringly.

 

Another important day had become ambiguous as well.

 

Originally, we had planned Ruthie’s baptism for the Saturday after the Fourth, but sickness in our family and my sister’s had placed an indefinite delay on the Holy Rite until we could get everyone’s schedules, and immune systems, in alignment.

 

With days until our 11th wedding anniversary, a text conversation ensued between Father Jacob, Ruthie’s prospective Godmother and Magan with the suggestion of, “Why not this Saturday?”

 

“What do you think?” Magan posed toward my direction of the sofa.

 

“Why not?” I replied. “That would be cool.”

 

So, with the baptismal font moved toward the front of the church, and most of our children secured in the training room in the back with their Nannie, Magan, Ruthie, Noah and I listened intently for our cue to meet Father Jacob in front of the altar at the conclusion of his homily to baptize our baby girl.

 

My occasional glances toward the training room caught glimpses of AnnaMarie lying flat on the floor working on a coloring book, Eli changing seats every minute or two, and Isaac (who could probably climb a phone pole without those spikey shoes) cresting above the edge of a chair trying to twist the volume knob or turn off the lights before his Nannie could return him to his original seat.

 

All I could do is smile and try not to cry.

 

In 11 years of marriage, Magan and I have watched our family grow from three to nine. We’ve traded two careers for one job and two vocations. We’ve watched our compact cars transform into a passenger van. We’ve watched our possessions diminish tenfold. We’ve traded leaning on our own understanding to trusting in God’s will for our family. In doing so, we’ve also watched the joy and peace of God’s grace grow over our family more greatly than we could have ever imagined that last Saturday in July, all the way back in 2007, when we said, “I do.”

 

The world constantly barrages us with messages of self-satisfaction, inward focus and attending to our individual needs. Marriage is just the opposite. In fact, the Bible says so: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).

 

So it would only be fitting that we would spend our anniversary reaffirming our vows in the form of witnessing Ruthie starting her own faith walk with anointing oils, holy water and the promise of a new beginning in Christ Jesus.

 

Plus, I should probably cut back on the carbs if I want to be in good shape for Ruthie’s 39th baptismal anniversary party on July 28, 2057.

 

Jason Halcombe has five sons and two daughters. He and his wife, Magan, are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Dublin.

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