Well, this one has been a doozy.
Two hurricanes hitting the farm.
Work at feverish pace.
Still. We got from Year 14 to Year 15 intact.
It’s curious this marriage thing.
One year can look entirely different from the year before.
That’s particularly helpful to remember if it was hard year.
But this marking of years, these anniversary celebrations, are important. These big circles on the calendar say, “You did it! You two, working together, hung in there and helped each other and invested in your family. No matter what hit you, you two are still standing.”
I reread some of my earlier anniversary posts this morning. You know, I used to label the years.
I don’t know if I’m wiser now or life is just more nuanced, but I don’t have a catchy one liner to sum up what God has done in us and for us over the past twelve months.
But those words from years gone by still ring true. I remember how hard year 7 was when I penned: Don’t let the circumstances of the NOW fool you into thinking this will be your circumstances in the LATER. Every day is a new opportunity.
On our ten year meeting each other anniversary, I wrote a remembrance, and concluded: You have been one-quarter of my life. But it feels like all of it. Like you’ve been who I needed my whole life. And he has been.
I’ve tried to be honest. To write about how I make mistakes and try to learn (and I still have so far to go). Year 9 I recapped some of that with a story with this moral: Hanging in there through the tears and triumphs teaches us how to spot our own relationship weaknesses. Sticking it out through the best and worst of times makes you a better person.
This is what has been true. We show up. It’s messy and beautiful. Hard and then easy. Awesome and then not remotely awesome. Our kids turn twelve this year. That’s the age I was when my parents divorced. I don’t attempt to rewrite what their story was but it informs how I live my story.
Showing up. He shows up and I show up with our flaws and our imperfections. Some days we’re a little more present than others. In year 12, it’s what struck me too: He shows up. Every day. On the days I’m good and charming and encouraging and amorous and funny. But he still totally shows up on the days I’m sad or losing my temper or sarcastic or inconsistent. And now, three years after I wrote those words, they are still completely true.
I know it’s not true for everyone. I know so many have felt the heartache of leaving or having been left or someone taken too soon. This just makes me all the more grateful to be standing here on this fifteenth May 6th.
I’ll end with the line from the classic 10 year anniversary retrospective blog post, it’s just as true today: And my prayer is that I’ll still be writing all the new things I love about him at 20 years and 30 years and 40 years.
Happy Anniversary Babe! Here’s to the next 15!