I found a few images that I had in an envelope. This one is from our first Christmas. We’d only been married a few weeks and my mother was the only living relative we had within 2,000 miles, so we went to her apartment for Christmas.
She’d just gotten us the one gift, and I asked him to open it. As he unwrapped it, he cried, “A box! A cardboard box! It’s just what I wanted!”
I think he was trying to make my mother laugh, because he sensed she disapproved of him. It was still too new for him to fully comprehend that she disapproved of me, too, and especially disapproved of my happiness; and our marriage totally blew her hopes of a reconciliation with my ex out of the water.
He opened the box and cried out, “Another box! It’s a box within a box, like those Russian doll things, but now in plastic!” I was cracking up by that time.
He held up the gift, some kind of microwave-safe cooking dish (that actually melted the first time we used it, haha), like a game show contestant with the coveted prize, while she took a picture.
I love this picture for three reasons.
Firstly, you can see the wedding ring he got me, which was later stolen. I tried to go “budget” in picking one out but he wouldn’t let me. “You will not have a ring under a carat,” he insisted.
Secondly, this is the closest thing we had to a wedding picture.
Last and most importantly, it captures how we spent pretty much our entire courtship and the majority of days in what would be our marriage.
Yes, there were tough days. Days tougher than I can relate. Days of tears and sorrow, grief and fear. But we laughed. He’d do a funny voice or tell a funny story and then we’d just fall into fits of giggles. I laughed more in the first weekend I knew him than I’d laughed in the entire decade before. That breathless kind that makes your sides and your cheeks ache, and tears leak out your eyes. Oh, it felt so good to laugh! Almost as good as other things.