We have been through it.
We don’t do things traditionally.
Life with you has broken just about every stereotype of marriage I ever had.
Over the last 17 years of life together we have moved 13 times, owned 2 homes, lived in 3 states, visited 34 states and 9 countries, lost 3 babies in miscarriage, experienced the ease of wealth and the stress of massive debt, lived through nearly 2 years of unemployment, walked through betrayals, nearly divorced, lost parents and loved ones in untimely deaths, cared for each other through debilitating illnesses, and had the privilege of parenting 5 incredible children together through it all. This only scratches the surface…
We joke about how we’ve been married for 17 years, but happily only the last 4… yet it’s no joke. From our honeymoon on life was really real and left us gasping for air and grasping for any lifeline within reach.
Yet, life with you has taught me the most valuable things about living.
Love isn’t love without raw renderings of passionate discord requiring self to be fully set aside for the sake of each other. Whether or not you set your self fully aside too. Unconditional.
Patience is as precious as rare gems, and when applied to love, reaps an orchard of money trees in marriage. And in life.
Long-suffering hinges two hearts together in the cruelest storms life can present. Suffering you, suffering because of you, suffering for you, suffering with you… has all tenderized my heart toward you. What cruelty meant to harden, long-suffering turned into compassion.
Forgiveness is my rearguard. When my heart is retreating from relationship, forgiveness keeps me out of the prisons of judgement, bitterness and retaliation. It’s also my forerunner, paving a road into our future, opening doors for intimacy and bulldozing everything blocking unity.
Honesty doesn’t mean I’m right, it means I’m being real about what’s going on in me. It doesn’t mean I have it all together or even know what end is up, but I’m bringing it to the table anyway.
Timing is everything.
And most of all, that every second of this wild rush of a life has been worthwhile. If I could go back and do it over again, I would want to handle things with more grace, more wisdom, more kindness – but I wouldn’t trade a single experience for anything else.
You have been my greatest teacher, my best friend through thick and thin, my most difficult adversary in conflicts and the one who’s smile I cherish most and who’s laugh I love to hear best.
You have set aside your pride and accepted me at my worst. You have suffered me, because of me, for me and with me. You forgive me constantly, and you never give up on honesty. You protect me and provide for me in every way. You fight for me.
Thank you for fighting with me; thank you for living this life awake, with all the pain and all the joy, beside me. Thank you for not giving up and not giving in. Thank you for choosing me.
Happy Anniversary, Babe. I love you.
Ps I’m sorry I forgot it two days ago. #untraditional