Today is Marion and I’s 8th wedding anniversary. So I thought I’d share some memories of our wedding day.

First of all, we planned the wedding ceremony, after all a bride and groom administers the sacrament to each other in a Catholic ceremony. The priest simply acts as a witness. So we sat in the presider’s chairs on the altar at mass and we offered a welcome to our guests. It was important to us to plan our ceremony as being Catholic was and still is the most important part of our lives together.

I also remember our families on that day. While it was a beautiful day for Marion and I, it was also filled with some sadness. Marion’s mother died when she was only 19. She was a woman who really valued family and everyone says that Marion looks so much like her and has a lot of her personality traits. At the end of the wedding, after communion, we had a letter read from Marion to her mom. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after our friend, Ken, finished reading it.

My mom too, wasn’t able to attend the wedding. A few days before the wedding my mother found out that her colon had a rupture and would need surgery to repair. So while we got married, she sat in a hospital bed. So we both remember our mothers not being there on our wedding day, which was sad but also allows us to more easily sympathize with one another. The pictures of me and my dad show his mixed feelings. My sister and I danced to the “mom” dance. And after our honeymoon, our days were spent with hospital visits as my mother had a six month recovery from major life-threatening surgery and only had a 20% chance of survival. I knew I married the right woman when Marion went to visit her in the hospital when I had to go on a business trip and she massaged her feet with lotion and talked with her all afternoon.

Our wedding day would be the start of a life filled with ups and downs. When you marry someone, you marry their entire family. My Irish family and her Italian family have supported our marriage by giving us a good foundation and we in turn, have had to support them as well in some of their tough times. We took special care that day to make sure that Marion’s nieces (Ronnie, Becky, Molly and Katie)and nephew (Ben) had a special place in our wedding party and they continue to hold such a special place in our lives. They remind us of our responsibility to family and friends as we watch them grow into adulthood.

Mostly, I remember that our wedding day and our marriage is really about one word: commitment. That on days that I don’t really feel much like being a husband—because I am grumpy or lazy or too busy with work or ministry—I am still called FIRST to be Marion’s husband. She is also called to be my wife.

Today I am grateful that God continues to call us to one another. That we walk on this married journey together and that we are able to dance to our song forever together…come what may.