Twenty-three years ago, I became the wife to Cedrick Algernal Shatten. July 2, 1997 I woke up “jittery”. I guess the term is “cold feet”, the term used to describe nervousness before a big event, such as one’s wedding day. Why was I worried on my wedding day? Well, as I look back on it now, I was nervous because of everyone I dated before Cedrick. (Cedrick and I joke, B.C. is before Cedrick for me, and B.K. is before Kim for him.)

Every relationship before Cedrick was BUT. “I love you Kim, but I met someone else.” “I love you Kim, but I don’t see forever for us.” “I love you Kim, but I will always love drugs and alcohol more than I will ever love you.”

With Cedrick it was not like that, even from the beginning when we were newly in love. It was, “I love you Kim, AND I want to marry you.” “I love you Kim, AND I want to build a life with you.” “I love you Kim AND I want to have a family with you.” Now, after twenty-three years together, its, “I love you Kim, AND I want to grow old with you.”

God gave me far more than I asked for and even far more than I deserved in this life, love, marriage and family that Cedrick and I have built. I love you, Cedrick AND I always will.