One Last Anniversary

Seventeen years ago, on September 26, 1998, standing on a St. Augustine lawn at The King and Prince Resort, two people agreed to love, honor, and cherish each other til death do them part. It was out of a fairy tale, if you had a fairy tale with leftover tropical storm winds, fresh and soggy sod down the aisle, and humidity that made the cake (that was inside) start melting and toppling over.

Lighthouse Wedding

The night was beautiful. Planned around football schedules, everyone who was able to attend did. We even had a few wedding crashers! My dad’s band played as long as the hotel would let them and the next morning, from the “round room” we watched the sun rise over the ocean as Mr. and Mrs. Anthoine. It was perfection.

Over the years, life happened. Loss happened. Life kept happening, good and bad.

Laughter filled rooms that were later filled with tears.

Events were celebrated in high style and others were marked simply with grace and honor.

Life changed us. For better and for worse.

We lost our way, and in it, our passion for one another.

Today marks our last anniversary.

September 26, 2015.

We’re technically still married, though divorce papers are filed and waiting for a FINAL stamp that will replace “til death do us part” with “til the judge says we’re no longer married.”

We stood before God and everybody seventeen years ago and took vows we thought we would never break. In fact, we sat in the “oh shit” room in a hospital and swore we would never “be a statistic.” But here we are. Now we have new vows to carry us through the future.

We vow to love each other in the way only parents who share the loss of a child can.

We vow to respect each other in the way only parents who have the same hopes and dreams for their son can.

We vow to co-parent with grace and dignity and promise to never speak ill of the other in front of Henry.

We vow to help each other in a time of need.

We vow to find happiness that was lost between us. It’s out there for both of us to find.

We vow to remember the 6210 days between our wedding day and today as they were, not with regret.

We vow to love, honor, and cherish Henry and the memory of Charlie til death do us part.

Happy seventeenth anniversary, Jason! Here’s to whatever’s next for both of us!

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  1. Beautiful.

  2. You, my friend, are the definition of grace. I’ve been there and know how hard it is to go through these hard days and hold on to a friendship, but it’s so important, not just for your child, but for you and for him. It’s so much better to be able to still talk to each other when you need someone who has been through so much with you. We now celebrate our ‘noniversary’ with just a tinge of sarcasm. Love you!
    Desiree Miller (@DesireeMiller) recently posted..The Little Girl Who Wished to See the PopeMy Profile

    • It’s really the most important thing for us. We’re better friends now than we have been in years, and have already been through a few (non-us) hurts and hurdles together. We’ll be celebrating our Noniversary for years, I’m sure. Just because we’re funny like that :)

  3. Linda Sheridan says:

    God and Goddess speed to all of you
    Everything happens for a reason
    In each of our lifetimes to perfect our souls.
    Love and lights and Angels always

  4. So, so beautiful, Jana.

  5. This is beautiful and grown-up and hopeful. Wishing you all those things you vowed to create.
    Robin @ Farewell Stranger recently posted..Let it go. It’s all right.My Profile

  6. I admire your grace in what must be a heartbreaking and difficult situation.
    Wow, that sounds like something from the really sad section of a greeting card rack.
    This sucks, and I wish you nothing but the best as you figure out your new path.

  7. Same goes.
    Angie recently posted..Authors Signing At SBC16!My Profile

  8. Such clear sight.

  9. Oh my God Jana, I literally got chills reading this. I wish more people could act with the grace and dignity that you and you (ex)husband have. Oh, I’m sad.

  10. Oh sweet Jana, my heart is aching and then FULL for you. There is love, dignity and hope in all your words.
    Wishing you the happiness you richly deserve. I’m so glad I might be here to witness it, the blooming of YOU.

    Kir recently posted..These are the ABCs of me baby!My Profile

  11. What a lovely way to honor the life you shared, and committing to the future for your child as remaining both friends and family – is a gift xxxx
    sisters from another mister recently posted..The Big Apple and #globalgoalsMy Profile

  12. Beautiful post. I pray that you will be able to fulfill those vows. My parents are divorced and they managed to love each other and us kids enough to be kind to one another. It was a wonderful example of grace for me.
    Allison B recently posted..7 Ways to Avoid a #PinterestFail when Picking RecipesMy Profile


  1. […] One Last Anniversary Jana shares her beautiful new vows as she heads into a new phase of life. […]

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