My wife and I married each other on May 13, 2012. In the euphoric rush of the day we forgot to make arrangements for cake to be frozen and stored for us to eat a year later. My ever-thoughtful parents , however, made sure to grab one of the multiple small cakes we had and freeze it for us while we were on our honeymoon. We came back to Charlotte, put it in our freezer, and most of the time I never even noticed it as I opened the door to pull something out.
Marriage can be the kind of thing that is easy to take for granted. Even in this first year, when things were still new and my wife and I were sometimes still struggling to find our footing as married people, there were many times when I would get home from work and just assume that she would be there, waiting. It’s easy to not notice someone when they’re always there.
But this past year also brought a lot of times when I was reminded of my much my wife loves me, and how much I love her, and that we are making a future together. Whether it was her support during my search for a job, her ability to be proactive when I am passive, her depth of feeling during the entire miscarriage process, or her confidence in me as we bought our first home, there are so many times she has made me feel so loved and reminded me that there is always a person who loves me and wants to create something with me.
There are things I’m not great at as an architect, but one thing I feel I do well is I can visualize things. I used to think of my future and it would just be me, living in a city and working, or having hobbies, or whatever I was into at the time. It’s hard to conceive of another person in your future when it’s just you at the time. But now there are times when I’m driving around Charlotte, or going to a talk with the city’s past mayors, or attending social events, or even hearing that an old woman I knew of who had a stroke has died, that I can see my whole future laid out before me like a road and I know how things are going to end up. Alicia is with me and we have a family and then grandchildren, and we are two old people living in a house confused about the new technology our grandkids are using.
It’s easy to take something for granted if it’s always there, but after Alicia and I got back from our anniversary vacation she took the cake out of the freezer (she’s always more thoughtful and notices things more than I do) and we cut into it hesitantly. It was surprisingly still good, and we ate it as our second year of marriage started, a kind of Eucharist shared between the two of us.