Forever Young (or how July is the mushiest of months)

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“May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.”

-Bob Dylan

 

So, I’d say that you must all be getting tired of me having so many excuses to write mushy lovey-dovey emotional posts on here, but based on the site stats for those days, I guess I’d be wrong.

And although I’d love to go back to my much more regular (lower) site traffic, I feel as though I can’t allow the milestone that occurred yesterday to go by uncommented on.

Yesterday marked yet another day in my life that can only be seen as another day of rebirth, the anniversary of my wedding day.  Six years ago yesterday I watched my gorgeous wife walk down the aisle, eyes welling up with tears (hopefully of joy) as her father handed her off to me in order for us to start our official life together.  Sure, we had been in a relationship for almost 4 years at this point, but now it was to be put down on paper that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

As part of our preparations for the event, we chose a song that we had hoped to be sung at the ceremony (although, due to some rules was, in actuality, sung at the reception following the ceremony) which we felt would perfectly mark how we hoped to spend our lives together, Forever Young by Bob Dylan, a verse of which you’ll find at the start of this post.  Although we were moving forward with our adult lives, we both had hoped that we would be able to look forward on our lives with childlike enthusiasm, ready to live every moment as best as we can.

Now, I’m not going to try to pretend that we haven’t had any hard times. . . we’ve definitely been put through the “for better or worse” wringer, but we had no doubt going in that those times would occur.  In fact, we were tested early on with the loss of a child early on in our first pregnancy, the loss happening to occur on our first anniversary.  Of course, the following year, we welcomed our daughter into the world a mere three days before our second anniversary.  The sting of the first loss still nipped (nips, truthfully) at our heels, but the joy Olivia immediately brought into our lives helped numb the pain.

But with the hard times have come more than our fill of good.  Within our first year of marriage, we traveled the continent, getting to visit Disney World for our official honeymoon, traveling the east coast (including visits to my home of South Carolina as well as the state of New York) for an unofficial honeymoon, and spending two weeks traveling across Germany for yet another unofficial honeymoon.  We’ve welcomed two children into this world who provide a constant source of joy (and stress. . . if we’re being honest), we’ve had many successes in our occupational lives, and overall have led a life much easier than I would have expected when we stated our vows six years ago.

But throughout all of that, I’ve always found myself coming back to the words of the song that we saw as our anthem back on that day, the song who’s simple message carries a much stronger vibe.  The song itself doesn’t exactly convey a message of living a carefree live, it talks of one of struggles, of hard work, and of dedication.  The final verse, as I quoted above, I believe highlights this the best.  “May your hands always be busy”, “May you have a strong foundation”.  These aren’t exactly things one would attribute to youth.  These are messages that one would more attribute to coming of age, to growing old.  They’re blessings that one would give to someone for their ongoing life to ensure that they live a fulfilling one, as well as one that keeps them on the path they wish to keep.

But underlying that blessing is yet another blessing.  A blessing that states that while you continue through life, that your soul stays young, that you continue to look at life from a more youthful perspective, or, as is stated later in that same verse “May your heart be always joyful and may your song always be sung”.

This is the ideal I continue to strive for in my married life, and in my life as a father.  There are always things to stress about, always looming issues that cause us to feel as though we will never be able to come out from under them. . . but with that, a sense of childlike optimism is required, a sense that although things are hard, there must be a day when they will get better. . . you know, the good side of “for better or worse.”  And, from my relatively short experience, the better does come along.

So, in combination with wishing my beautiful bride, once again, a Happy Anniversary! I also wish her the same thing I always wish for us, that we are able to stay forever young.

I hope you all have a good one!

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