A few weeks after his proposal, they married in New York, in a June wedding beneath the blue sky and bright sunshine.
Standing in front of a judge, they spoke their vows. Lacey wore a simple ivory-colored dress that set off her lustrous skin. Her dark hair fell down her back, and she held a small bouquet of red and pink roses.
John looked down at her, his heart full of happiness.
Above them, the June sky was a vivid, perfect blue. As they stood in the picturesque white gazebo of a private rose garden in the heart of Manhattan, roses of all colors surrounded them, and the soft hum of bees wafted through the warm summer breeze.
“I do.” John spoke the words that pledged himself to Lacey forever, with no hesitation in his soul. No fear. In fact, it was easy. He wondered what he’d ever been afraid of.
He looked at his baby daughter, now held by one of Lacey’s three bridesmaids, her friends from the single mothers’ group. Taffy wore a sweet collared blue dress, and her chubby face was almost solemn as she watched her parents wed. Even the baby seemed to realize the importance of this moment.
“I do,” Lacey said in response to the judge’s question. She smiled up at John with tears in her eyes.
“Then, by the power vested in me from the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife.” The judge gave John a mischievous smile. “You may now kiss the bride.”
Taking Lacey in his arms, John kissed her deeply, with the sweet promise of forever. He kissed her knowing that he couldn’t control her, or control everything that might happen in the future.
But he wasn’t afraid. He didn’t need to control her.
They were equals. His wife was his beloved partner. She was his strength, as he was hers. Rain or sun, pain or joy, they would meet the future together, hand in hand.
He could hardly wait.
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