Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Anniversary

Last week was our 8th Anniversary.  There's not too much to show or tell - this year's anniversary dinner was a pretty low-key event for obvious reasons.  In spite of everything, we had a lot to celebrate.

A simple meal from EatZi's with some of Ash's favorites - green beans and shrimp

Since her metastatic diagnosis, Ashleigh and I have often discussed that the last year has been pretty amazing.  Despite being a year marked by cancer treatments, most treatments had relatively few side-effects and up until two months ago we have predominantly been able to live our lives unaffected by cancer.  We have watched David grow through his first year into a speedy crawler with a toothy grin and infectious laugh.  Noah has blossomed into a wonderfully verbal and happy (if stereotypically contrary) two-year-old.  We have been loved and supported by family, our Sunday School, friends, neighbors, and strangers alike in ways we would have never dreamed.  We have reveled in simple joys as God has been teaching us to never take for granted a new sunrise.  And our love has grown deeper and more mature as we have lived out "for better or worse" in real life.

We had a great conversation over dinner about an a capella competition that doesn't exist - possibly inspired by recently watching Pitch Perfect 2 together.  Still, it was the most interactive conversation we had in a few days, and I relished it.  We discussed whether Redline was going to win (I assured her they would).  Maybe it's not the healthiest thing to play along with delusions, but I wouldn't have tried to jolt her back to reality (and the associated confusion and uncertainty) for anything in the world.

Something Ash got in her head somewhere along the way was that she wanted to wash each others' feet as part of our wedding ceremony.  For those not familiar - this is based in a story in John 13 where Jesus washes his disciples' feet as a way to show how we should love and serve one another.  The wedding planner initially balked at the logistics - removing footwear is not something attempted in a typical Baptist wedding!  Still, you won't be surprised to learn Ash held firm to her vision and I (the dutiful husband-to-be) tried to support her.  I think the result was great; we weren't front-and-center while this occurred in the ceremony, we did it off to the side while an A cappella group performed "Take my Life and Let it Be".  We re-watched our wedding video on our anniversary and I'm still really happy with how that turned out - shout-out to Jason, Shane, David, Nikki, Matt, and Rachel, our awesome GT A cappella buddies!

7/7/07 - We each wound up with one foot cleaner than the other

Each anniversary since then, we have repeated the symbolic act of washing each others' feet.  It served as a yearly reminder to us that our goal in marriage was to serve one another, to put the other's needs before our own.  This year the foot washing was a bit less symbolic than in previous years.  I helped Ashleigh walk back to bed after dinner in the picture above and she stepped in some spilled dinner along the way.  A perfect segue into our tradition!

The reason I tell the story is what happened next: I washed her feet and put away the basin, fully intending to let her end of the tradition slide this year since she wasn't really in a physical or mental state to reciprocate.  In a rare moment of lucidity (and, after 8 years, a not-so-rare moment of Ashleigh letting me know in no uncertain terms that I was being an idiot), she demanded I bring back the basin. :-)  Despite the pain and limited range of motion for which I would have gladly given her a pass, she insisted that tradition be followed - she wanted to communicate to me that she still, even now, wants to put my needs in front of her own and serve me, insofar as she's able.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is a love that deserves at least 62 more anniversaries to celebrate adequately.

37 comments:

  1. You both are so amazing. I got goosebumps and teary eyed reading this. Your devotion to each other is awe inspiring. Praying so hard for you and your families

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  2. You guys are the sweetest. Happy (belated) Anniversary.

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  3. I'm in tears! What a wonderful way to celebrate your special day. Continued prayers for your sweet family.

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  4. Beautiful moment. Happy Anniversary you two.

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  5. What beautiful love you share in your marriage. A lesson for all...

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    1. They do set the bar really high, don't they?! Love to you both and the kids.

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  6. What beautiful love you share in your marriage. A lesson for all...

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  7. Simply beautiful!!!! A testament of the Lord's
    amazing strength through you two.

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  8. Your Love for each other and the Lord is inspiring. We all should learn from you both. Prayers for your family.

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  9. My eyes welled up at the beauty of that act.

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  10. What an amazing demonstration of love and testament of Christ's love and grace. You are in my daily prayers.

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  11. God bless you both with His unending love and continue to give you the strength you so richly deserve.

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  12. You are a precious husband to your wife. I pray for you guys all the time (and I don't even know you). Blessings as you savor every moment.
    Kelly in Michigan (found you from Andrea a while back)

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  13. This post, especially the last paragraph, brought tears to my eyes for the way you so clearly and simply showed your deep love for one another. You inspire and motivate others with your grace and love, and this extends beyond those who share the same religious beliefs. That so much good can come from such heartbreak & hardship is a true testament to the kind of people you are.

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  14. That may be the loveliest story about marriage I have ever heard. Prayers to you and your wonderful family.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your anniversary with us in words. It proves to me that our bodies my be frail at times but our minds are still intact. She loves you and you love her with a Godly love. Most are never that lucky.

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  16. OK, we're all crying now... Beautiful guys, unbelievably amazing. God is good!

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  17. You both have taught me more than you may ever know. Praise God for your wondrous marriage, and may God be glorified more in Ash's life than in her death. I love you both till it hurts. Pulling for you both. Praying for you both. Godspeed for tomorrow.

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  18. I wish I had all the words to express how touching and inspiring all of this is... your strength and faith through this journey, your transparency and willingness to share your story, and this amazing act of love between a husband and a wife. I am literally moved to tears. My husband and I also did a feet washing ceremony when we got married 3 years ago. I am reminded and encouraged as a wife to serve and love my husband the way God loves us. Ashleigh, you inspire me. When I think of you two, this verse comes to mind because you live this out everyday: James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." I'm praying for you guys.

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  19. That was the sweetest thing I have seen.

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  20. Love that Redline would win your competition and LOVE LOVE the washing of the feet! Praying everyday for you both

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  21. You guys do deserve many more anniversaries! What a beautiful story.

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  22. What amazing people both of you are. Continued prayers for your beautiful family.

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  23. Such an amazing memory that you will have forever. God Bless You both!

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  25. This is literally the most beautiful thing I've ever read. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

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  26. This beautiful story touched me to the depths of my soul. Beautiful story about a beautiful lady and a beautiful marriage. The love you have for Ashleigh is the type of love that everyone should strive for. Prayers for you, those sweet babies and your angel.
    Blessings!

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  27. افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات ومنازل وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
    شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

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  28. الشرق الاوسط من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
    شركة الشرق الاوسط
    شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
    شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
    شركة نقل عفش الجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركات النقل البري بالدمام
    شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
    ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
    ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر

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  29. شركة شحن عفش بالدمام

    فاذا كنت من ساكني الدمام فنحن شركة المنزل افضل شركة شحن عفش بالدمام
    يمكنك الاعتماد علينا في شحن اثاثك من دولة الي اخري او من محافظة الي اخري
    لامتلاكنا اكبر اسطول من السيارات الحديثة المجهزة العدة خصيصا لغرض الشحن
    مع وجود امهر السائقين الذين علي دراية كبيرة باغلب الطرق و ذات الخبرة الطويلة في القيادة
    شركة المنزل تقدم خدمة شحن اثاث بالدمام علي اعلي مستوي و بأسعار متميزة


    شحن اثاث بالدمام


    http://elmnzel.com/moving-furniture-dammam/

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