Thirteen years ago, I was in Christ the King chapel at Franciscan University praying in the Eucharistic Chapel that the Lord grant me the grace to be a loving husband and father. I was nervous but excited. I was preparing to marry the love of my life. A wonderful woman named Holly Perkins who was from Columbus, Ohio.
My family was in attendance, hers was as well. Everyone was sitting and waiting for things to begin. The usher called me out and the music started. First my groomsmen, My brother Mark, Paul Portenlanger, Brian Loot, and then my best man Blaise Sims. They brought their partners down the aisle and then the doors closed at the back. The wedding march began and here she came, radiant and beautiful.
My thoughts strayed to when we were dating, how when we first met I simply wanted her to remember me so every chance I got I said, "Hi Holly". Then when we had breakfast and talked for the first time I knew I wanted to date this woman.
13 months of engagement living in Washington, DC while she finished up her last year of School was tough, but we got through it. Now the big day had come and it was time to become a man; grow up and take responsibility not only for my own life but the life of another.
We sat while Father read to us the Exhortation before Marriage written by one of the Popes I don't remember who. I was stirred by the words which said:
This union then is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life and are to be expected in your own. And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.
Throughout these years, we have seen all of these, richer, poorer, sickness, health, better and worse. And we are so much stronger for all of it. The Lord has blessed me tremendously with the privilege of coming home to this woman. I am forever grateful for His blessings.
To my lovely, Holly Deliduka, on our anniversary. I want to tell you I love you more and more each day; you are my life and my world. I would be lost without you. I love the way you love me, our children, and your work. Thirteen years is only the start. I look forward to the day when we're celebrating our 50th, 60th and beyond.