Sister C helped me step into my dress. We did this slowly so the photographer and videographer could get good shots. And I am glad we did this slowly. Because in that moment, I remember staring at the fat Christmas tree up front. The rainbow lights shining bright. The ornaments we loved dangling from branches. When I was in the dress, I twirled around a bit as my bridesmaids snapped pics. And then I saw it. The quote Dad loved so much, he had it framed and displayed.
"Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made."
I always loved that quote too. Dad and I had several conversations about this quote. About the crooked complexity of life. I always thought that Isaiah Berlin said these words, but turns out it was Kant. Anyway, I remember glimpsing those words on that day. I remember noticing them. I think so at least.
I just Googled “fifth year anniversary” and I was touched to see that it is the wooden anniversary. I do not have a wooden gift for Husband, but maybe I will print him that quote, timeless and true, and hand it over. That counts, right? Making Love the Gift
Or maybe I will just show him Dad’s framed words. You see, tonight of all nights, is the annual Donnelley Christmas party. Husband and I will get dressed up and we will take our little girls—in their matching silver dresses—over to my childhood home to celebrate. We will mingle with our family’s close friends, so many of whom celebrated our wedding with us. We will stand in that room where I stood wearing my best dress for the first time. We will walk our girls up to that big tree blanketed in those same lights and those same ornaments.
And then. After the girls have gone home and to bed, Husband and I will follow the sound of debauchery. We will go upstairs. To my old bedroom. It will be chock full of T’s college friends. They will be there, plopped on my old bed, sipping from clear plastic cups. Husband and I will duck in and say hello. And I will study the old pictures and the old trophies. I will look out that window at the same street. The same trees. The same December sky. 4 Ways Family And Friends Help Our Relationships
And then, at some point, Husband and I will say goodbye. Hand-in-hand, we will walk toward home. But we might not go straight home. If I have my way, we will make a slight detour and walk around a certain museum. A museum where five short and long years ago we danced so much and smiled so big. A museum where this all began. And if it’s not too cold and we are not too tired and my heels don’t hurt too much, we will climb those grand front steps and sit under two vast dinosaurs made of pine. We will sit there for a few moments. Huddled together. Happy together. Wordlessly, we will celebrate our lasting love and our loving family. In that cold night air, we will toast dreams and memories and the crooked timber that is life.
Written by Aidan Donnelley Rowley for DivineCaroline.
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