To have and to hold or maybe not 

Thursday June 03 2021

Christine Nakalungi

By Christine Nakalungi

With time I have realised that maybe clerics should let people write their own vows because surely this business of echoing what the pastor, priest, reverend, bishop or imam says is turning many into liars.  

I know that at the moment of exchanging the vows, the couple is so excited that they can vow to do anything for each other. Reality however, kicks in when the wedding excitement finally expires.  Marriage will not always be a honeymoon that is why you should enjoy it when you can.

When you get married, the world does not come to a standstill. No my dear. Once you get back from cloud nine, you will realise that theperson you married is human. The ring will not change anything.

If he was a bully before he is likely going to stay the same.   So, the question of ‘to have and to hold’ is not mainly being able to be there for your spouse if they are going through something but what if your prince charming is the one taking you through a journey of pain and regret, are you willing to still hold his hand even amidst tears andheartbreaks?

Our ancestors did this so easily for reasons we might never reallyunderstand.  I attended a funeral where a woman lost her husband to Covid-19.

She looked stronger than the other relatives who were trying to console her. I was amazed at how composed she was and when she got the microphone to speak, I even admired her more.  


“My husband was a great father. The children will clearly miss him,” she began.  “In the last two weeks when he was struggling to breathe and beat this disease, he must have realised that he was almost losing the battle and sohe asked to speak to me. I could not go to the hospital because of all the restrictions but we had a video call.

He, asked to see the children, but helooked horrible. I did not want the children to see him in that state. I want them to remember him as a happy man.

He on the other hand asked for my forgiveness. And he asked me to call a certain lady who his mistress and had two children was including the little baby crawling over there. Ma’am, can you bring the children to lay a wreath and say their goodbye.” 

A lady looked surprised as all eyes turned to her.  She might have begged for the wind to carry her out of thatplace.  She resisted at first but after a minute she rose and walked whichs eemed like a walk of shame for some people.   

Mourners started whispering.

“No wonder the wife has not been crying. Imagine what she went through the past two weeks,” one woman said.  

The preacher must have heard the whispers, so she brought up the topic, “to love and to hold”.  

“How many of you would have quit this marriage?  He appreciated the wife for staying with the husband even when she had all the reasons to pack her things and leave.  

“You are the true definition of a wife, I know that you were disappointed and hurt but you kept your promise to the very end which is,“until death does you apart.  

He prayed for her and all the children.   He then turned to the mourners who had become both members of the jury and judges. “How could he do that?” Is what most people were asking. Well, we are all human, your Prince Charming might just reveal his claws and hurt you.

Are you willing to stay and hold his hand or run to the nearest bus station? If your answer is the latter, then we need to revise these wedding vows.