Yesterday was my thirteenth wedding anniversary. My husband and I slipped away for a quiet meal at our favorite restaurant and somewhere between dinner and desert my mind settled onto a memory from our wedding day: right before the ceremony a friend grabbed my arm and told me to stand still. “Look,” she said, “look at the light coming in through the windows. It’s lovely. And today is lovely. And if you don’t stop and soak this in for a moment you will not remember it.”
I stood in that chapel long enough to take a few deep breaths and I really looked. I saw the light coming in through the stained glass windows and settling in patches on the floor. I saw the altar and the candles and the empty seats. And you know what? My friend was right. I would not remember any of it if she hadn’t made me stop and really see the light. That moment is one of the few things I recall with perfect clarity from my wedding day. Most everything else has faded around the edges, blurred by time and new memories of the man I married that day. Yet every year on January 27th I remember that moment, the windows and light and the exhortation to be still and soak it all in.
Yesterday I celebrated thirteen years with the man I love. And today I celebrated something else momentous and life changing and worthy of remembrance: the publication of my novel.
So in that same spirit I want to stop and record a few things here. I want to place them in the light. I want to set them firmly in my mind because otherwise there will come a day when this moment is faded. Blurred. Replaced. But these things I want to remember:
My friend Marybeth Whalen wrote a post about the book and it made me cry (in a good way).
I used to go to Barnes and Noble on my lunch hour and wander the stacks. I wondered what it must feel like to have to a book on those shelves. Today I found out in spades. To see my book on the front table with the other new releases was magical. To have friends celebrate with me was a gift.
Paige Crutcher and J.T. Ellison convinced me that I needed to go see the book in the wild. They reminded me that big things should be celebrated. That book babies aren’t born every day. We grabbed lunch afterwards and I can’t think of how this day could have been better.
Tori Whitaker, a new and determined friend in Atlanta, braved a snowstorm to go get a signed copy from FoxTale books. Knowing that someone else is as excited about this book as I am makes all those lonely, quiet hours of work so very worth it.
While at Barnes and Noble I ran into my long-time, wonderful friend Kristee Mays. I’ve known her since I was sixteen. I was maid of honor in her wedding. She was matron of honor in mine. And, because life has a way of coming full circle, she was there that day thirteen years ago as I stood in the light. It was only fitting, and quite poetic I might add, that she was there today as well.
Yes. I will remember all of these things.