Happy 19th wedding anniversary!
I'm sitting here, stumbling with finding my calculator on my phone, trying to plug in the numbers. Then I remember, you are celebrating your 30 year high school reunion this year. So its been 30 years ago since our first date, although it seems our hearts married right from the start. That one summer night, you had 400 hundred and some odd dollars on the dash of your Mustang, and we had a wide open night to do with as we pleased. I remember little of where we went, or even what we did. But we spent not a dime, and talked under a bright moon in the front seat of your car, till the birds started to sing at dawn. And we learned that even in the quietness, speaking not a word, our heartbeats had started to commingle.
But in the thirty years of knowing you I can't put my finger on when it began. Was it a word? A date? A present? When was it, that I knew? The times we were together those first couple of years, it was so very real for both of us. Yet, the times we chose to be apart, I'm convinced, tied us together in even more binding ways. Maybe I knew when you called and talked to me for over an hour when I was in Paris, and we weren't technically dating at the time. The bill had to have been massive, but at no point did you want to cut it short. Or it might be how you'd just show up to drive me to my college classes, on the really cold days- like -42, knowing I'd have to walk in the cold if you didn't. We weren't dating, and yet, your desire to take care of me never waned. I still have the Snoopy Christmas ornament your grandmother made for me that year. You wouldn't tell her we weren't dating... you see...
I think we already knew. We weren't entirely ready. But we knew.
It might have even started back in high school, when we went on the church trip to New York City. We stood at the top of the World Trade Center taking night photos of the cars down below. Even then, neither one of us talked and yet we were completely comfortable not filling up the space with needless words. Were the seeds planted then?
Perhaps, I know, because of all the treats you bring me now, just because you know I had a REALLY LONG DAY. Or its how much I love the way you say, we'll find a way, don't worry.
Like the day the letter from Blue Cross shows up last week, telling us yet again, they're canceling our health insurance policy at the end of this year. I can't fathom what the new costs might be to us. But you reassure me, as always, we'll get by.
It could certainly be because of all the spontaneity. Like when you say, Really, Toronto, Canada is not too far to drive all 4 of us in our little Toyota Prius. And I discover its not really too far, and we end up with the adventure of a life-time. Or the time when you first got your job in Idaho and were getting ready to move. But you said "Stay in graduate school. We can weather a 9 month separation." Yeah, we did that too.
It certainly could be the day you said Idaho isn't working for us anymore, after nearly 10 years of calling it home. Lets quit our jobs, buy a small blue house and move back to Minnesota to be closer to our family. Maybe I'll try photography and see if I can make a go of that. Um hm. That's what we did. It could have been that day.
Or it could be that one really hard day. The day I called, sobbing, saying this time its not cysts in my breast. I was wrong. Its the worst imaginable and I don't know how I am going to do breast cancer. I'm sorry. And you say, I'll be right there. We'll just do it, together, and everything will be okay. Five years later, you're still here, and we still manage together.
I guess that's the thing, really. Its not any one of these, but its all of them. Its how we've woven this tapestry of us. Through the times we are at our best, and the many more times when we are broken, tired, or weak. It hasn't mattered. Apart, was just never really meant for us for very long. I can't think of a time in my life, when it ever really will be either.
So at some point its just been together. This story of us. Its about the 19 years of marriage, the 30 years of knowing each other, the 16 years of Nolan, plus the 14 years of Colton. Its the forever I hope to know you, to love you, be with you, and weave together the rest of the story of our life. All of these years later I know our commingled hearts will always be just enough to sustain us through the foreverness of you and I.