When my husband I got married, part of our ceremony was a twist on the candle lighting or sand combining rituals that are common in weddings. We wrote each other love letters and put them in a box that was prepared by my grandmother, along with a bottle of wine. The idea was that if we were ever in a rough patch in our marriage, we would open the box, read the letters to remember why we wanted to join our lives, and drink the wine. The hope, of course, was that we would not have rough times and we would open the box, read the letters, and enjoy the wine in celebration on our 10th anniversary.
Now and again since our troubles having children - and then deciding to walk away from trying for parenthood - the words I remember writing me have haunted me with tiny snippets of memory. My mind thinks of these things I wrote to my husband almost as though I jinxed myself. My letter to Buddy was - in part - about how excited I was to have a family with him and how lucky I felt to have met such a perfect man to be the father of my children. It contains thoughts of our naive dreams. And lately, it's bothered me more and more. In theory, we would be opening that box 7 years and 3 months from now, and it should be in celebration of 10 years well lived and well loved. But knowing that reading the letters will be very bittersweet puts a damper on that vision for both of us.
And so, we've come up with a new plan, just like most everything else over the last year. On our third anniversary, we're opening the box. We're drinking our wine and replacing it with a new bottle. We're writing new letters. I don't know what we'll do with the old ones. I kind of want to read mine, just to remember what I wrote, but I don't know if that's out of lovingly wanting to remember that fresh about-to-be-married excitement or I'm a glutton for punishment. Buddy said I can read his, but doesn't seem to want to read mine, knowing what's in it (I brought this all up the other night after having it on my mind here and there for a little while). I guess we'll know what feels right when the time comes.
Like most everything else since Infertility entered our lives, plans are changing. I'm just glad that we can up with this new plan together, and - if I'm completely honest - it's mostly Buddy's idea. I love that he recognizes that the box and its current contents needs to go, but also that this is something that is important for me to not let go of entirely. He could easily just say "chuck it all in the trash." But he wants to start over, with new words of love, a new bottle of wine - which will still be enjoyed on our 10th anniversary - and new wishes for the course of our life and marriage. Once again, I'm blown away by his thoughtfulness and understanding of what I need, and it always makes me go a big gooey one when he shows that he needs something emotionally from me, too. I have a feeling these new letters are going to be full of love and adoration for each other. I'm happy to be sincerely looking forward to our 10th (and our 3rd, of course) anniversary once again.