Love, Hope, and Marriage
By Dr. Lynnette Simm
Wedding season is upon us. Two of my favorite people are getting married this summer: my niece and my brother-in-law. Oh the memories of my own wedding come flooding back. I remember my bouquet of Calla Lilies, ribbon bows, twinkly lights, balloon arch, three-tiered cake, my antique white dress, and my family and friends. But what is a wedding really? It’s the joining of two histories, two families, and two individuals, in the hopes that two can become one. During this season, I have been reading a book dear friend gave me, The Four Things that Matter Most: A Book about Living by Ira Byock. The book presents four statements that matter most to make life worth living: I forgive you, please forgive me, thank you, and I love you. These are the elements that make relationships strong, that make relationships worth living for, and that make relationships worth remembering.
When I met Madison, almost 26 years ago, neither one of us had the support of our families. Mind you, it was acceptable that we were dating, but when we got engaged only five months after our first date, there was a lot of resistance. My future husband’s family felt our engagement was too quick. At the time I could understand their need to protect their son, grandson, and brother; however, I can say I was very hurt. I felt rejected, unworthy, and dismissed. My family’s marital history was riddled with divorce, so it seemed as if my marriage was doomed. I felt my family was disengaged with my life, which left me feeling lonely and sad. So, with one side of our family worried and the other side of the family somewhat apathetic, Madison and I had a difficult time gaining support.
I forgive you: