On October 27th, 2019 my husband and I did a small legal marriage in our hometown. It was part 1 of 2 of our wedding celebration. Our second wedding took place in sunny Florida on the 7th of December on a beach surrounded by family and friends. It was perfect and it took my breath away. As I walked down the sandy path with my father, I immediately saw my husband look at me with tears. I fought hard not to ruin my makeup and cry too. As we embraced, holding hands, our best friend spoke about our unity and strength. Each of us read our wedding vows (which I still say mine was the best), but it spoke about our love and admiration for one another. After being pronounced husband and wife, we walked down path, and you picked me up with a hug.
When we all arrived at the beach house for our party, it was perfect because it was us. It wasn’t anything stuffy. We were relaxed and had fun with our family and friends.
The honeymoon portion was something I will never forget. We explored the area, ate at great places, did boat tours and admired the city. Perhaps the magical part of the honeymoon was walking down the city with the Christmas lights strung across the palm trees. Everything was magical. I didn’t want this moment to end.
Now, my husband and I have been together for over eleven years. We were engaged after a trip to Blue Ridge, GA (another place I whined about moving to) in 2018.
Through our years, we heard from several people “why aren’t you married”. Here are the following reasons why we waited so long:
We had to grow-up into mature adults.
We had to learn how to handle how each one of us handles day-to-day things
We had to prove that we wouldn’t bail on one another through a series of events that could tear a couple apart.
We needed to figure out what we wanted out of life.
We wanted to be different.
We didn’t want anyone every saying we rushed into something.
We didn’t want to become a statistic.
The list can go on, but the bottom line was that we loved and respected one another and knew that we had a lot of growing up to do and sometimes part of the growing comes with heartbreak or disagreements. We learned how to navigate those parts constructively. Now, I admit, after our first date, I knew that he was the one for me. He was the first man in my life that aligned with my values, and I knew that he would challenge me to be better. So, while we waited 10 years to get married, it was perfect, and I wouldn’t change it any other way.
After we arrived back to our hometown, normalcy was back. I was excited to get my name changed although it was strange to go from an easy name to pronounce “O’Brien” to “Tietz”. Let me tell you, the phone calls I get are hilarious with the numerous ways they butcher my last name. It’s pronounced Tee-tz. But let your imagination go wild with how many way people try to pronounce it. I don’t even say my last name when I call for stuff. I just spell it. It’s worth it though.
After everything seemed to settle, my stroke happened a month later. We went from bliss to tragedy. While I knew my husband was not processing this information well because this was new to him, he still showed up to the hospital and sat with me for long hours. When I was discharged, he made sure I had all the safety devices set around the house to call for help. When I had to go back to the ER during the peak of COVID in March, he sat with me as we watched people in agony. Being protective, he said let’s leave. He would watch me to make sure I didn’t fall asleep, which was instructed by my neurosurgeon. A little context, I was at the same ER in the afternoon with my mom after I fell. It turned out I had hydrocephalus. The surgeon told me I would be operated on the next day and they are waiting for a bed to open. I wasn’t wearing comfortable clothes, so I declined and went home. Later in the night, I was getting worse, which is the reason why my husband and I went back to the ER. Thankfully he had made the firm decision to leave and watch me safely at home and drive me to the surgery center the next day.
After all this nightmare and feeling unattractive with my bald head and Frankenstein incisions, my husband never made me feel like I was unattractive. He continued to protect me, made me feel loved, and did his best to make me laugh, which is major trait I look for in a partner.
So, while next month is a dreadful reminder of what happened, I am going to choose to celebrate this month of the memory of our wedding. After all these years our relationship and our marriage continue to grow strong through time. I don’t know where I would be without him, processing all this change. . So, cheers to our anniversary and loving marriage.
When I feel down, I look back at pictures of that time to remember that special time in our lives and look at pictures as we continue to celebrate our love.