To my one and only beloved, my anam cara, my best friend and sweet sweet butter brickle:
Today marks three years of minutes, moments, seconds and star struck nights that we have been in this thing we call marriage. Its funny really, its been 3 years and yet its been like a whole series of “week ones” one right after another, still new, still giddy with doe eyes and flittery longing looks across rooms or grocery shopping isles. 3 years time, strung together, its hard to believe how many beads we have strung on this life long rosary already. Time, it does fly. It flies when you are in love. And I am. It feels like just yesterday we were donning our kilts, nervously pinning broaches and trying to remember to take mental snapshots all day long.
They say (OH they) that after 3 years of marriage, the gift that says I love you all over again, is leather. It seems like a strange gift, killing another life to say I love you. But I have tried to move further out than that, to wonder what it is about skin—all worn and pounded, tough and pliable—that could say something about love. Here’s what I got.
After three years, you my dear, are thoroughly under my skin. I have lived a thousand lives before you even met me, I have had a lot of hurt and heartache, many tears, laughter, failures and foibles. Loss and grief are no strangers to this body of mine. I have some tough skin—leathery—around my body, around my heart. And then there is you–tending to it, to me, working it, loving it, loving me. There is not a single day where I do not have your heart against mine. You and I now share DNA, life, at the micro and macro level—your love has permeated my skin.
Its funny, and its been said a thousand other times before, so I almost hesitate in offering it. But I will, adding my voice to the billions before us, like a profession in G-d. I here profess, each day I love you more, desire you more, my heart grows bigger, the smile I wear looks more like yours. You are my light, my best friend. I never thought that actually really and truly each day I could love you more, but I do. Your jokes are always funny to me. Your smile, your kindness, your willingness to love all of me—its astonishing, whack-a-doo indeed.
You call me out on my shit, and turn around and call my shit pretty, beautiful even. Who can do something like that? You. And G-d.
You know, I know that G-d exists, because I hear her small soft voice all tangled up in your whispers and strokes across my forehead after a hard day. So, today, before G-d and all these people, I reaffirm my vow to you.
In the name of God and before this congregation, I, Rachel, take you Karen, as my beloved, my partner, my own; to honor and cherish you; to share with you in life’s joys and triumphs, and to stand with you in times of grief and misfortune. I will be truthful in all things and strive with you to create a home filled with reverence and hospitality. I will love you all the days of my life. This is my solemn vow.