For more than two years now – and on most Sundays- there’s this mirror, one in which I have other people look into, as they talk about themselves and their lives, be it challenges, or triumphs. Their reflection and their stories on this blog provide courage, hope, or inspiration to people all over the world.
Occasionally I turn that mirror around, look into it myself, and share a piece of my own existence.
This is one of those Sundays.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is The Sunday Series.
The Sunday Series (86): Going on 19
Think you know what courage, hope and inspiration are really all about? Want to know how to experience love, war and peace? Ever get really angry, laugh your ass off and then make love all in the span of a single day, or sometimes even a few hours?
No? You haven’t done that? Then you have yet to get married 🙂
Today marks 18 years since Debbie Gross Brodinsky and I “tied the knot” as they call it. There’s a reason it’s called a knot because if you tie it just the right way it holds, it stays in place, the knot keeps the rope or the laces together. It can be adjusted – tightened or loosened – but the ultimate goal is to not let it go. The only way to keep it from slipping…is love.
The union of man and wife to create a different life. On November 8th, 1997, Debbie and I did just that, we joined lives. And on the anniversary of that day, today, you look behind, realize you can’t go back, only move forward. The clock never stops, time keeps marching on, but if you think hard enough you can remember the seconds, and a few flashes in your mind that make up this “different life”.
Flash: Our wedding day. I probably best described that day in the book, It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story, page 119:
“When they announced us into the room at our wedding on November 8, 1997, and we took the floor for our first dance, I knew right then that my entire life had been leading me to that moment. I/we had made it to the place I belonged. It was an overwhelming sense of love, of calm, of purpose, and even as I write about it now, I can still capture that same feeling in my heart.”
That single flash ignited a much larger fire which now burns warm in my heart. Marriage brings two hearts together, but the next flashes created a depth in my heart I never knew existed.
Flash: January 9, 2000. I watched this woman I married give birth to a life I helped create: Sophie
Flash: July 16, 2002. I got the gift of witnessing a second miracle: Emily.
On an anniversary, especially one which you reminisce about the union you created, how can you not think about your greatest contribution, at least in terms of a legacy you will leave with the world. These are the two days in our lives in which Debbie and I became immortal, witnessed two miracles and opened your hearts to unconditional love which defies rational explanation. Those flashes created a fire, one which still burns bright every time we see our girls smile.
Flash: November 3rd, 2009. We stood there and watched the doctors turn off the machines which were keeping Jerry Gross alive. Just days away from our 12th wedding anniversary and only two days after Debbie’s birthday, we watched her Dad die. It’s a flash that still today radiates a painful sense of loss, a piece of life you can no longer touch, only visualize in your mind and feel in your heart.
Flash: April 13th, 2012. Breast Cancer. Our greatest life challenge, yet by the time we hit our 15th wedding anniversary that year my bride had long since defeated the beast, on her way to complete reconstruction and a cancer-free existence. I got the honor of witnessing a woman taking charge of her own destiny and, as most survivors do, serve as inspiration to all of those around her.
Flash: Today. There are enough flashes in an 18+ year existence, (don’t forget the four years before we were married), way too many to mention here, to put a paparazzi’s camera to shame. From houses purchased, including the one we now live in, to vacations, to family events, to friendships, to every single moment spent alone or with our girls, to every single tick of the clock, one which constantly moves forward, and never goes back, which help to define our marriage.
Five-hundred twenty-five thousand six-hundred minutes – multiplied by 18. Do the math. I’ve tried, but the numbers will never do it justice. It’s the moments, the flashes that make up our marriage and today the anniversary of that marriage.
Maybe it’s all best described in the lyrics of a song, one which our daughter Emily simply adores, called “I’m Gonna Love You“, by Meghan Trainor and John Legend:
“I’m gonna love you, like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you, like I’m saying goodbye
Wherever we’re standing, I won’t take you for granted
’cause we’ll never know when we’ll run out of time.”
I love you Debbie.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, SpeechWriter, Emmy Winner, USHEALTH Advisors
Author: The #1 Amazon Best Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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