I am really disgusted by how little the wedding vows mean to so many people today. Apparently, the idea of making and keeping a commitment to someone when you say your vows is an unusual concept. Just look at Woods, Weiner, Schwarznegger, Edwards, and so many others. The list goes on and on.
What part of the relatively simple wording of most marriage vows is that hard to understand? Most of the words are two syllables or less. The concepts they involve aren’t exactly rocket science. I guess part of what makes this modern trend of ignoring the meaning of one’s wedding vows so foreign to me is because I can’t imagine not honoring such a commitment to someone I love.
Back in 2000, about six months after I asked Gee to marry me, she was diagnosed with stage III metatastic pancreatic cancer. About a week after she was diagnosed, her father asked me if I wanted to cancel our engagement. I looked at him and said, “Gee’s illness doesn’t change how I feel about her, what she has come to mean to me or who she is— and why— in God’s name— would I abandon the woman I love, just when she needs me most.” I also told him, “Besides, when I met you, you entrusted me with the care of your daughter on our trip to Seattle—ever since I met her, she has always been my first priority— that will never change.”
I understand that some men, given the same situation, might have chosen to walk away, since stage III pancreatic cancer is likely terminal in most cases. That just wasn’t an option for me. Gee lost her fight with cancer back on June 11, 2001, and before she passed away, she asked me to re-marry again should I find the right woman. Given our relationship, I told her that I wasn’t going to marry just for the sake of getting married—that I’d rather be single and happy, than marry the wrong person.
Just recently, I realized that a friend of many years—someone I had come to know and love as our friendship has grown over the years—was in fact someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. I was surprised when I realized how my feelings for her had grown and changed. This realization combined with a near-miss with an accident that likely would have been fatal led me to tell her how I feel about her and ask her if she would consider marrying me. Given the somewhat unexpected nature of this discussion, I expect that it may take her some time to figure out what her answer will be.
I don’t know if she realizes it, but I have always had a commitment to her, as strong at the one I had with Gee, but the nature of my commitment to her has changed over the last few weeks. I hope she will consider what such a commitment means, and that she understands how seriously I take making one to someone I love.