Most people say that marriage is hard. For some, I’m certain that it is. But from where I stand, on this my 10th wedding anniversary, it’s really that it’s life. Life is hard.
There are bills to pay, big decisions to make and two children that simultaneously fill our home with the greatest measure of joy imaginable and pull-your-hair-out, crazy-making strife.
We’ve lived through the pain of miscarriage, the uncertainty of job loss, extended family problems that have broken our hearts and the hands down worse: the immense, immeasurable and incredible loss of a parent.
Whether you’ve been through these exact times, or even if your life’s story is more (or less) heart wrenching, there is a beautiful relief in sharing both your happiness and your pain with someone who walks with you THROUGH it.
On my wedding day, ten years ago today, I cried when I reached Brandon at the end of the isle. Sobbed, actually. Tears of joy, yes, but also this – tears of gratitude to God in heaven for answering my prayers and delivering me a man that I knew in the depth of my being would live up to every single one of our marriage vows.
A man that would stand next to me through everything life would send our way and would be honest, kind, hard working, loving and giving- so, so giving. Would be a true gentleman in every sense of the word and would teach our future son to be the same and our future daughter to never settle for less than the example he provided for her. A man who took friendship seriously and himself not too seriously. Who would embody loyalty in the truest sense of the word. Who would say ‘I’m sorry’, and really mean it. Who would go to the doctor’s appointments, coach the little league games and bring flowers to the ballet recitals. Who would not only support my desire to be a stay at home mom but also fully and completely embrace the hippie parenting style that we’d find ourselves practicing after falling head over heals in love with our kids.
Ten years later I can say that even in my idealistic early twenties, I was right about this. I was right.
Despite the hard stuff, the tragedies big and small, some days I look up from the sweeping of the dog hair or the folding of the little pajamas, or I just breathe the lemony- scent of the all-natural counter spray I can afford to buy and I can’t believe this life is mine.
Somehow I feel like we’re living the dream.
It’s not like we’ve carved out some particularly noteworthy or special or out of the ordinary existence. It’s just the daily work of loving each other and raising a family. Of running the dishwasher and stopping by the store for dog food and wine.
And yet, this is it. For me this is it.
Brandon, my love: Thank you for being my true north. Your face is the first thing I see when I close my eyes each night. Your love is all I have ever needed. These amazing children, the dream house in the making– they are more then I could have ever imagined.
I love you so very much. Happy Anniversary!