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Marriage is for The Tough.

They didn’t sign up for this.

I’m not a betting man, but I’d lay good money down on my hunch that their wedding vows didn’t include:

I will love, honor, and cherish you, even if you are in a car accident that literally leaves a hole in your in the middle of your neck, and virtually half of your body numb and limping.  And I will be be thankful for the pain meds that will become a necessary part of your diet because I know it’s the only reason you have what little mobility you have left.

No.  Neither one of them considered such things over a decade ago when they took their marriage vows.  “To honor, love, and cherish…’til death do us part,” those sorts of things, but not this.

Yet here I was, helping them find a gift for a friend, and swallowing a very real lump in my throat as he helped her put a ring on her finger that she wasn’t expecting.  There were no tears of gratitude, or sappy lines exchanged.  It was an unceremonious gesture on his part…and there was no way in hell it was for my benefit.  He surprised her, and she smiled.

He walked her to the car and helped her get in, then raised a water bottle to her lips so she could take a drink.  And then they were gone, and I remembered again and again why this profession can be so great.  It’s because you allow us and the things we provide to be part of your lives, and your memories, even when we’re not part of the plan.

I imagine their life now is far different than the one they dreamed about all those years ago.  They are living a life story they didn’t choose, but they made a promise, and despite the hardships, they are keeping it.

Marriage is for the tough, and my hat is off to all of you who keep it together year after year.  In good times and bad…sickness and health…and everything in between.  You rock.



Andy Koehn


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