Amherst Magazine

Vows

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At his wedding, Keith Millner ’92 delivered vows not only to his bride but to his new stepdaughter as well. Here is what he said.

Watch a multimedia slide show of Millner's vows

Neavey,

Walking alone in a field near here a few years ago, I thought of leaving these mountains I love, and I was comforted to realize that you were my mountains in Texas.

And so you are.

Like the mountains, you are unchangeable and mostly unchanging, and yet each time I see you it is with new wonder and awe.

In the mountains and with you, there’s fear and sometimes loneliness. But with you I feel the same sense of peace and solace and relief that I find in these hills.

You have quickly become my greatest teacher. Mostly you have taught me how to love absolutely, without conditions or expectations or reasons. You have helped me know the person I want to be.

You teach me that looking too much at the past brings more pain than pleasure and that focusing too much on the future makes the present harder to appreciate and enjoy.

You teach me to accept others without judgment and to care for them even though I can’t change them.

You teach me that there really are so few reasons to be unhappy and that to smile and laugh and love is truly all I need.

And I’ve never had a day with you when I didn’t smile and laugh and love. I could never have imagined how much pleasure knowing you would bring me, and I feel so grateful to have you in my life and so honored to care for and have you as my child.

Today, as I commit myself to you, I promise to love you each day, for all the rest of my days. I promise to feed and shelter you, to care for you when you are sick, to hold you when you are tired, to comfort you when you are sad. I promise to hold your hand, to fight on your behalf when you need me to, to share you with the world. I promise to be silly with you, to try to make you laugh and smile, to look into your eyes and to take pride in all of your endeavors and accomplishments. I am so proud of you, Neavey, and I love you completely. Thank you, my girl, for loving me as your Keith.