I've always admired the beauty of a man and a woman united by marriage. I've seen this from my parents' 35 years of marriage, from romantic films where the knight in shining armor kisses the princess in the end. I wanted to be that knight.
But I was afraid of the passion it takes to reach that state. The selflessness and sacrifices it entails made me give up quickly in my past relationships, failing to see that the true test of what made a relationship worth it were the challenges themselves. Because I was used to enjoyment first and sacrifice later, the merriment and then the consequences, the puppy love and then the breakup, my idea of love was twisted, and continued to drag me deeper and deeper into a selfish way of loving. Until one day, after falling to my knees, crying to God for help, I met you.
Deanne, you are God sent, my angel in disguise. You have guided me out of my want of selfish love to that which seeks to forget oneself in order to love to the fullest. You've showed me that the journey is as important as the destination. You've said "no" to me a hundred times, when I was courting you, so that you could show me what Real Love is. It was difficult but I would go through a thousand more for your "Yes" today. Your "Yes" is an invitation and a challenge for me to love you as how Christ loves the Church, freely, totally and faithfully.
I promise to love you freely, out of my own choice and will not because of what society demands of me but because I am sincerely and utterly in love with you. I promise to love you totally, with my whole heart and being. To give and share with you my body and soul without any secrets and lies. I promise to love you faithfully, to set my eyes, mind and heart only on you and solely on you. Not just because I am obligated to as a husband, but because your love and the experience of loving you fascinates and amazes me more and more each day.
And I promise that our love will be fruitful, to be not only a husband but a father to our children. To be the foundation and pillar of our family, where you and our children will feel secure, peaceful and loved. I will build and create not only a house but a home, just as St. Joseph did, where Christ and Mother Mary's Love will be the center. A home where our children can grow and become as holy, smart, and beautiful as you are. Hopefully as good in writing too.
Deanne you are my princess and I am your knight. I vow to die to my wants and needs for yours. To love and serve you without asking anything in return. To protect you from the dangers of this world and even from the danger of my own anger, impatience and pride. For you are my life now and nothing makes me happier knowing that I would have laid down my life for you each day by being more humble, patient and understanding. By being able to serve your needs before mine. By showering you with gentle words of affection even when I think you're wrong and I'm right. By always holding your hand when life seems against us.
For you are my reason to want to sacrifice before the celebration, to fast before the feast and to die before I can truly live.
I love you Deanne.
Photography by Toto Villaruel