To The Man I Married and The Man You Are Today,
Nearly nineteen years ago, I didn't know a thing about life. I’m pretty sure I only knew 2 things, actually. I loved God. I loved you. Uhm yeah, that was it. Our pre-marriage course encouraged us to talk through many of life’s potentials, but just as in all things, you don’t KNOW what you haven’t experienced. Life is messy and even if you would have told me just how messy it could be, I wouldn’t have been able to comprehend it. In the depths of me I knew that as long as I was with you… I was where I was supposed to be.
The truth was that at our young ages and the state of our situation at that time, on paper and basically in reality, things didn’t look so good for us. We basically had low prospecting jobs, no money, no glamorous wedding, no ability to pay for the honeymoon of our dreams, no unexpected dowry that just appeared. Sorry about that, BUMMER. The list of ‘no’s’ could’ve been a mile long. What were we thinking? One of my life’s greatest accomplishments and biggest treasures is that we weren’t, and that we did it ourselves. I wasn’t concerned with our situation in the slightest (creative brain syndrom- it’s a real thing) because I may not have known a lot of things, but I knew the man that I was marrying and I adored YOU.
We ate shitty food (I still don’t like turkey), drank cruddy beer (I don’t even like beer..but it was cheap), dreamed through magazines, played cards in bed (THANK GOD WE’VE LEARNED SOME BETTER TRICKS- thanks Lucy Libido) and hung out with my grandparents (blessing in disguise). We sat in the backyard listening to the SCRUBS and frequently brought our checkbook down to $5. We were having fun and all that mattered was that we were together.
Life things happened, kids rocked our world (in a good way), jobs changed and holy smokes, “We were really doing it...” ADULTING (ish). Through trial and error, bumps and bruises (it is not always fun-but we stick it out), celebrations and deeper joy than I can articulate, we have bounced our way down the bumpy road of married life in the most beautifully messy way possible. It does not look like a Facebook Fairytale but our non-Pinterest worthy life is what my dreams have been built on.
The last six months, for me, have been a continual reflection on our life and how blessed we have been. The image of you getting shot goes from being brilliantly burned into the forefront of my mind to slightly opaque and welcomely distant. It’s on REPEAT always, however. Although I wish that very moment away with almost everything that I am, there is a small piece of me that is grateful for the young free love that needed to be stoked inside my heart. Although we have always tried to put each other first, BLC (before life changed) I was longing for the carefree joy we felt from life’s simplest pleasures.
I cringe inside at the thought that I could be sitting here today, on nearly our nineteenth wedding anniversary, without you. I’m not me without you. Allow me to get sappy (shocker) for a moment. Watching you hurt on that sidewalk was the most awful pain I have ever felt in my entire life. I hope to never feel that pain again because I'm not sure my heart could handle it. Not being able to help you was the most parayzingly hopeless feeling I have ever experienced. I am reminded daily when I see the purple scars on your white flesh that God, himself, blessed me with my greatest Fairytale. Twice. I married you and I got to keep you.
Those warm and fuzzies that are abundant in young, fresh love (and taut, tight bodies... wink, wink), the kind that makes your toes tingle and releases the butterflies in your sweet belly, had been ever so slightly depressed by real life stuff that accompanies adulthood. Being shot didn’t change our everyday life all that much but what it did was release the chains that years of adulting and life had put on our youth in an attempt to bury it and change us into something new and different. I embrace the years of experiences and changes that have accompanied us on this journey of life. I also reluctantly welcome the reminder, and all that it brought with it, that each moment is a precious present. That very reality released the toe tingles and butterflies in unfettered abundance once again. I think God played a cruel joke on you; you got shot AND you have to talk about feelings with my grateful, bleeding heart all the time! Sorry, NOT Sorry.
All kidding aside, I am acutely aware of how blessed I am. I have been reminded this year that just like when I was walking to you down the aisle, with a clear lack of understanding for what was yet to come, that that sentiment is actually true moment to moment, day to day. Every day. Every year. We don’t know what our next breath, our next day, or our the next year will bring us. We are only certain of the beauty that our eternal life has in store for us. I live for that promise. The thing with that is that selfishly I’m grateful that this year, and in this moment, and on this anniversary, I can hold YOUR hand, in the flesh, and be forever grateful for the man I married and the man that you are today.
I love you for always…..