For the words that escaped me in the moment:
Thank you. Thank you for loving me so intensely and intentionally that you would get down on one knee after asking for my family’s blessing, and then asking me to be your wife. I do not now, nor will I ever, take this lightly.
While I am overjoyed at the thought of marrying you, I am not blinded by love in this moment. I understand the significance of the oath that we will take in front of our family and closest friends. I understand that this life isn’t likely to end with “happily ever after” written across the sky. I understand what it looks like for a spouse to live up to their vows in the most difficult of situations, and there is no other person in this world I could imagine experiencing any of it with. Like I told you in the beginning, if you don’t love and support an individual enough to care for them through years of illness or tragedy, you shouldn’t consider marriage. I do love and support the person you are—more than I ever thought possible.
I do not expect a fairytale, nor do I expect you to take responsibility for my happiness or actions. I do, however, expect to experience more joy than I ever thought possible. I expect to be overwhelmed, blessed, and humbled in ways that I cannot imagine.
For every good day and hardship, I will be on your side. I will stand with you and fight for you and be your second biggest cheerleader (totally understand your mom will always be first). I will annoy you to no end and stare at you awkwardly way too long because I just can’t help it. I will swallow my pride and admit when I’m wrong. I will show you grace as I have been shown, and I will work to progress as an individual and as your partner.
While I know our life won’t always be puppies and rainbows, I am certain that it will be full of love, laughs, and ridiculous adventures. We will travel, eat all of the foods, and greet strangers in languages we have not yet heard of. I will make it a goal to remain as affectionate as we are now, and maybe even kick it up a notch, because it’s our love language and it makes us who we are as one. I will tickle you and absolutely expect you to not do the same in return. I mean it. I’ll roll with your big ideas and help you bring them to fruition, and I’ll politely call you out when I know you could be doing something better. I know you will do the same. I will embrace you in every new season of life, and I pray that you will do the same.
Your family will be my family, and mine will be yours; for this I am eternally grateful. I thank you, with every ounce of me, for loving me so well and for giving me an unlimited amount of days to try do the same.
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Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.