Tuesday, July 29, 2014

14 Years

Ours is not a typical love story.  We met when I was just 14 years old.  When I first laid eyes on him, I knew. There was something different about this one.  I had to get closer; I had to find out who he was.  We became instant best friends, though deep down I was hopelessly in love with him.  I cried the day I watched him drive away, his car packed up for college, while I stayed behind for 2 more years of high school.  It felt like part of me was leaving.  But, there were long letters, phone calls and surprise visits. I had boyfriends and he had girlfriends, but something kept drawing us back to one another.  There was a strong connection between us that simply couldn't be duplicated or replaced by someone else.

And then there was that summer night after he had moved back home - both of us a little older and wiser. Standing in the kitchen laughing...when, out of the blue, he kissed me.  It was the kiss that changed everything.  And that was when we both finally knew.  There would be no one else. This was the beginning of our life together. 

Since that day, we have seen unspeakable joys and unbearable hardships.  He lost his dad and I almost lost mine.  There was a cancer scare and he was nearly sent to Iraq to fight in the war.  We had a beautiful baby girl.  There were 4 consecutive job losses and moves to 2 new states.  Doctors said they weren't sure I could have another baby - and then our miracle boy was born.  There were many times of difficulty, trials almost too great to overcome...when I thought we might not make it.  But we always came out stronger, closer & more committed than ever.

We haven't lived a particularly glamorous life - most of our years have involved paying off school debts, hefty medical bills and saving up for our kids' school tuition.  Both of our cars are over 10 years old (miraculously still running!) and we don't even own the house we live in now.  We haven't traveled to exotic locations or taken lots of weekend trips away. But we've realized that there is beauty to be found in the ordinary & joy to be uncovered in the everyday routine, if you seek it out purposefully.

The longer time goes on, the harder is it to recall memories that don't have him in them...which is just fine with me.  Our life together is so much better than it was before on my own - the family we have built, the memories we have made, even the hard times we have endured.  He has blessed me so richly by just loving me for who I am, by respecting me & my opinions and by always making me feel beautiful.  

I have known him for 2 decades, been his wife for 14 years and loved him since the moment we met.  To the man who holds my heart, to the one who believes in me & my crazy dreams, to the best friend I'll ever have...happy anniversary 


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