Becky was going to do things differently this time around.
She remembers how young and naive – stupid, really – she was the first time she got married. Having watched too many romantic movies, she was convinced that she and her husband would live happily ever after. There would be no fighting, no betrayals, no challenges at all. Yes, ‘stupid’ was looking more and more like the right word.
She and Mark fought over the stupidest things all the time; such as the way his boxes of comic books cluttered up the crawl space, how she never seemed to get the crease in his dress shirts just right, and who’s job it was to keep the house clean. “I can’t be expected to work all week, look after the kids, and scrub the house from top to bottom,” she would argue. “And I can’t be expected to work all week, coach Wyatt and Sophie’s hockey teams, do repairs around the house and clean as well!” he’d argue back.
The loneliness she was sure she would never feel once she got married crept in, so she made up for it with an affair. The hurt Mark felt when he found out lead to an affair of his own. There was serious talk about divorce, but then another serious topic of discussion usurped that one: Mark’s spinal cord injury.
It was a freak accident that caused it. He had been up on the roof cleaning the gutters when he lost his footing and fell head first onto their cement driveway. Becky and Mark got a quick dose of reality the day they heard he would never walk again. He told her that he’d understand if she left him, she told him never. She loved him and she would never dream of leaving him.
She meant every word of it, too. Just as she meant it when she apologized for taking him for granted through the years. Mark was equally sorry for the part he played in creating a less than ideal marriage. So much time had been wasted on their selfishness, pettiness, and insecurities. That was going to change.
Walking down the aisle of their home church, dressed once again in a white gown, Becky did not see Mark’s accident as an ending, but as a beginning. The beginning of a new Becky and Mark. She knew how lucky she was to still have him and to have the opportunity to renew their vows. This second version of their marriage was going to be what their first one should have been.