Today I woke up weepy and sentimental. 30 years ago today I put on a big white dress and walked down an aisle to a very handsome man with shiny blue eyes and a big Irish grin. We shared this secret few people knew about, it wasn’t our first time being married. We actually ran down to city hall in Florida because of a logistical snaffoo we hit and were really married a whole 8 days before the ceremony.
It made the whole day so much more fun for us. We were the center of attention for this elaborate fun day that my parents planned from beginning to end. It was beautiful and perfect and all I really remember was the handsome man whose eyes twinkled when he looked at me.
30 years bring situations that will bring out the worst and best in people in a marriage. The truth about marriage is that you stop feeling all sweet about it the first time he makes you mad but you also fall in love again and again with greater intensity if you push through the hard parts.
Here are a few of my favorite memories and they are not what people might expect.
- Being in a mobile home on a pull out couch with 3 children, 4 and under with the flu. We were surrounded in vomit and I looked at my husband as he held one of our sons and wiped his face. Our son smiled because his daddy was helping him and he loved his daddy and we both broke out laughing. The situation was ridiculous but we had each other and we loved those vomiting babies more than we ever thought possible.
- I remember taking a day to be at the beach with my man one day. Roger went to go do something and I looked up and a gorgeous man was surfacing out of the water with the sun making him all sleek and beautiful. I put my eyes down in an effort to not lust at this stranger. I wanted to practice being a faithful wife in my every moment. I got nervous as I scanned the beach looking for my man and realized the beautiful man was walking towards me. I remember my heart beating as he kept approaching. I looked back ten times trying to find my man. Finally the feet of the stranger were right in front of my towel and as I stared at them, they looked familiar. As my eyes rose up his whole body, I realized I was trying to not lust over my own husband. A lovely memory as I smiled all the way down to my toes.
- Roger waking up from open heart surgery and staring at him wondering if he will ever be the same. They stopped his heart for hours as they worked on him. He then realizes that I am close and he says to me with his eyes closed. Hey baby, I’m looking good huh, want to have sex? I then realized he was perfectly fine and things were going to be alright after all.
- Roger stringing hundreds of Christmas lights on every house we have ever owned while he mumbles under his breath in the cold or rain or snow. Knowing that he hates this job but then the look on his face when he is all done and his family loves his handy work.
- Toys R Us runs for Christmas and birthday’s for our babies.
- Driving across the country with our small children while he takes the boys in his car and lets them play crazy boy games in the back seat, forming memories that they still remember.
- Every wonderful camping trip we ever took with our kids even the time we got soaked in the tent!
- Trying to figure out how to make love in a pop up camper and not rock the house with our kids sleeping on the other side of the thing.
- Waking up from every surgery I’ve ever had a knowing you never leave my side.
- The tears you shed when you first held your children.
- The time we were in an argument and you asked me if you had to prove you were sorry by hitting yourself in the head with a shoe (as you held the shoe in your hand by your head) and I smiled and said, “sure”. We both burst out laughing and that was the end of the argument.
- The box of love letters you have written me over the years and the terrible but wonderful poems that you have given me that make me laugh so hard I cry.
- Both of us falling asleep at Le Miserable because we were young exhausted parents and leaving during the intermission.
- Snuggles on cold winter days.
- Watching you push past your fears in Ireland when you had to drive on the wrong side of the road. The look on your face each time I offered to drive for us.
- The sheer joy you have for travel that I get to borrow because you love it so much.
- Watching you play with our grandchildren and wondering how so many years have gone by so fast that our babies have babies.
Roger I just want to thank you for praying harder and not giving up when things got hard. You never worked to get out of our marriage you always worked to make things better. I am honored to call you my husband.
For working however many hours you had to so that didn’t have to miss a day of our children’s baby years.
Thank you for always making sure your family was protected, provided for and cherished by you.
For being a man of integrity and teaching our sons what is means to be a man with your life and not just your words.
Thank you for loving our daughter so well that she knew how to recognize a man of character to choose for her mate.
Thank you for always making me feel beautiful and valued. I’ve never doubted it for a day since you first opened the door for me on our first date.
Thank you for the cups of coffee in the morning when I don’t want to get out of bed.
For playing Mario games with me or navigating me through all the worlds
For being the first person I want to share the rambling in my head with and for all the calls to me in the middle of your day to just say hello.
Thank you for being the kind of man that gives up his trip to Bali with his wife because our little girl needed us. That makes me love you even more than I thought possible.
Thank you for being man enough to own up to your mistakes and godly enough to change when needed.
Roger who have made my life so rich that I can’t help but let the tears fall in gratitude.
Silver, from the deepest place in me to the softest place in you, I love you and thank you.