The Gift of Words

I am not a crafty person, by any means. I couldn’t get on the Pinterest train because I knew I would never be able to recreate all those awesome projects, so it just frustrated me.

What I do have is my words. I’m pretty good (I think) at expressing myself with the written word. It’s easier to get it all out when I see the words in front of my face and I have time to consider the reaction they may or may not get.

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. Matt and I have been married for four years. I really wanted to do something wonderful this year, travel to some quiant bed and breakfast or maybe some stereotypical stay-cation spot like Niagara Falls. But we both kind of really sucked at saving up for that trip, so it isn’t going to happen. I feel bad, but will just make sure that doesn’t happen again..

Anyways, times are tight so my gift to Matt for our anniversary was my words. I wrote him a (handwritten) letter. I won’t go into detail what I put in it, but it was all from my heart.


I still remember our wedding day. I think…I hope that I will always remember it, even with age. I remember how nervous I was, how it felt like I was walking on a cloud. Everything was hazy.


I remember the chaos of getting ready, and the laughter and tears my sisters and I shared while we got our hair done and dresses on. I remember driving to the hall where we were to be married, sitting in the front seat of the van my in-laws rented to take guests from the reception to the hotel, just reflecting on how I knew everything was about to change…for the better, of course.

They say that little girls dream of their wedding day for decades, and it’s true…or at least, it was for me. I used to envision myself getting married to some handsome, incredible man in the backyard of the house I grew up in, just like in Father of the Bride. I used to picture how I would look (like a princess, obviously).

I remember thinking about all that heavy stuff about weaving your life with someone elses on the ride over, in that rental van, having strangers honk at me and wave their congratulations. It was surreal.

Although some things had changed about my dream wedding, such as the location, it was far better than anything I ever could have envisioned, even if I wasn’t the most graceful bride, even if I nearly tripped 700 times before I got to the alter, even if my dad had to physically hold me back so I wouldn’t run…and even if I practically jumped at Matt once the infamous “you may kiss the bride” line was said.


I still wouldn’t change a moment of all that. I wouldn’t make myself more graceful or posed. The raw, authentic, awkwardness of me was perfect…at least, he thought so. He still does.


The wedding was just the beginning of our story together, the very first page of a new novel. The part 2 to how we met, how we fell in love, how we became three.

We’ve both come so far in the past 4 years, individually and together. I supported him and cheered him on while he rocked college. Now, he’s supporting me and cheering me on while I grow as a business owner and finally chase my dreams of writing (and publishing) novels. He’s been so incredibly understanding of everything along this journey. He’s pushed me to follow my dreams, and always…and I mean always given me whatever my heart desires.

In four years, I’ve also learned that marriage is not easy…it’s not for the weak of heart. It really takes a lot of work. It’s easy to lose sight of each other, and I’ll admit…we have. We’ve fallen on opposite sides of the battle field of life, fighting against each other instead of beside and for each other. We’ve realized our mistakes of course, and always find a way back to one anothers side…but it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve hurt each other in the process of learning how to weather the storms together, but we’ve also forgiven each other. We know that we are both intense and tempramental, and we are finally learning…after four years…how not to press one anothers buttons.

I truly believe that love is a garden, and I’ve applied this knowledge to our marriage and it’s been better for it. We don’t ever ignore our weeds, we try to figure out a way to get them out together.

I know that it won’t always be easy. I know that it’s sometimes downright hard. But I also know that he and I are fighters, we are both stubborn and won’t let go of each other. We are loyal and we are strong enough to get through whatever life throws at us…so long as we are in it together.

I’m not naive enough to believe our relationship could withstand anything, he knows that too. That knowledge is what makes us work so hard to stay true to one another and ourselves, though. Knowing that means we won’t risk what we have. We know we are just as suspetible to the same downfalls as other love stories that came to an end. It could happen to anyone, and it’s all in the steps you take and the decisions you make. It’s all about watering your garden and pulling out the weeds, fueling the spark and always communicating…even when it’s difficult or when it hurts.

I do believe that we have many more years together, a lifetime. If the last four years have shown me anything, it’s that our determination and the ease in which we can keep our spark alive will serve us well. This man still gives me butterflies when he kisses me, he still makes me feel like I did when we first got together.


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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