Once upon a time I married the boy I loved and we lived happily ever after. Have you ever thought about that phrase? Happily ever after what?
Happily ever after... our wedding we left on a dream honeymoon. A train trip through the Canadian Rockies with stays at fine hotels in Vancouver, Banff and Calgary. What our travel agent failed to tell us was that every hotel we stayed at was under construction in anticipation of the upcoming Olympics. We have fantastic pictures of the construction cranes outside the windows of each hotel room. Unfortunately we don't have a picture of the crane operator who peered in our window early one morning.. and thankfully he didn't have a camera to take a picture of what he probably saw! We were young, inexperienced, and had never been on vacation before. We started running out of money on the third day. By the time we reached Banff, the most expensive stop on our trip, we couldn't afford much more than deli sandwiches and Labatts. The doorman looked embarrassed when we walked through the elegant lobby with groceries but we enjoyed our improvised room service. Our honeymoon was a far cry from the romantic travelogues in Modern Bride but we were blissfully happy anyway.
Happily ever after... Happiness isn't a measured by how closely our expectations are met but by how we deal with what life brings us. When we promise to live together until death do us part we have no idea what the future will be. Marriage isn't a fairytale. Along with joy there are challenges, tragedy, comedy and countless, messy, unplanned events. For the last twenty years I have been able to face ever after happily because I am walking into the future with my best friend. He's a man who can make me laugh even when there is nothing to laugh about, who challenges me to think, and has kept me fascinated for more than half of my life. I cannot imagine a better way to spend ever after.