49 stones

I was surprised when Sam broke up with me on that June day all those years ago. I knew I was going to marry him, and here he was, ending our relationship.

Over the phone. 
I hung up, sat down, and cried. Wept. Ugly, stinging eyeballs, soaking wet pillow case WEPT. I mean, I was going to marry him, you know? This guy on the other end of line, stuttering over shockingly potent cliches like “I’m just not ready for this” and “You deserve better.” I was supposed to be with him forever. I glanced down at forever, now shattered all over my bedroom floor. Huh. 
So I left the state. Crossed an ocean. 
Moved in with a sister. 
Found an island. 
Made some friends.
Went ahead and kissed a few of them. 
This is the part of the story when Sam makes another phone call. When Sam buys a plane ticket. When Sam and I fight in the warm wind of a Sunday morning beneath a banyan tree, when I say what are you even doing here, and he says he loves me. 
Well, I say. I love you too.
On another warm and windy day, a Friday afternoon five years ago, Sam and I stood on a beach on that island and promised before God to love each other forever, no matter what, sick or well, rich or poor. Then we put 49 stones in a glass vase. 28 small stones from Sam, one for each year of his life. 21 small stones from me, one for each year of my life. Weighing those stones in my hands now, hearing them clink against the rounded bottom of the vase, I am struck by the way these years moved towards us. Our five year anniversary plans always involved a visit back to our island, back to the sun and the banyan trees. Instead, here we are, held tight by a tiny girl and the happiness that shivers down our spines when she yawns and smiles as she stretches awake. 
Bad times have passed through this house. Grief and despair, for ourselves and others, crept through the floorboards and sat heavy on our furniture more than once these last five years. Joy came too. We sang and we danced and we fought and we made up, and we ate and we drank and we toasted glasses for success. We have problems. We pray. We have triumphs. We rejoice. We have our God, and if He is for us, then who can be against us?

And wonderfully enough, we have each other. And it definitely is wonderful enough 🙂

It’s just the beginning, really. And if the first few chapters are meant to pull you in for the rest of the story…consider me hooked.

Now for a ridiculous slide show, wherein Samuel has hair, we wear too many costumes, 
and generally have a pretty great time together. 

Happy Five Year Anniversary, Mr. Horney! 

song credits: “I Always Knew” by The Vaccines

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