Today is my wedding anniversary.
9 years ago today my husband and I said our vows in a tiny, low-key ceremony.
9 years ago we wandered over to the beach and toasted our marriage as the sun set.
9 years ago.
A lot has happened in those 9 years.
We have 2 children now.
We have 6 nieces.
We’ve been through a lot of changes. Most of them have been for the better. Like having the children, changing jobs, leaving jobs, pursuing new interests, making new friends.
But some of the changes haven’t been so great. We’ve lost several family members over the last 9 years. Which is to be expected I suppose, but it doesn’t make it any less sad.
What it has done though is make me cherish even more the present that my sister handed to me on my wedding day.
Unbeknownst to me, she had spent weeks and weeks contacting our friends and family and asking them to send us a postcard or a photo with a message on it, sending us their love and best wishes for our future together.
At the time it made me cry. Reading all the lovely messages. Knowing how much time and effort had gone into putting the whole thing together.
And now, just thinking of it makes me cry all over again.
Because there are messages in that album from people who are no longer with us.
But the thing is, reading them now, seeing their handwriting, makes it feel like they’ve not entirely gone. All that love that I felt on that day 9 years ago. It’s all still here. It’s all around us.
So, as I celebrate our wedding anniversary, I’ll make a quiet little toast. A toast to say thank you to those who took the time to write a message in a card, 9 years ago.
It means the world to me.
To absent friends.