Ten years ago, my husband and I stood in front of our family and friends and pledged our solemn vows. I suppose I should be saying something like, "I can remember it as if it were yesterday," but honestly, it seems like a lifetime ago. I look at our wedding pictures and think, "Who are those young people, and did they have any idea what they were promising on that day?"
The wedding may seem like a lifetime ago, but it seems like just yesterday I was waking him up at 2 a.m. with an infant, begging him to take her for a couple of hours so I could get some precious sleep. Take her he did, even though he had to work in the morning. Later, when I thanked him, he said not to worry. "She's my baby, too," he said.
It seems like just yesterday we were moving into this neighborhood, complete with its cul de sacs and safe streets. We bought bikes for us and a bike trailer for the girls. The weather was kind. Life was good. So good, that we looked at each other and said, "No matter what else happens, we're going to remember this time and say it was good."
It seems like only yesterday he was taking time off work so we could go as a family to my mom's bedside when she was diagnosed with cancer. Only yesterday he told me not to worry about the girls while I went home again to be with my mom and my dad as they recovered from heart attacks. Only yesterday we took a trip to Chicago, away from the girls for the first time in almost nine years, enjoying a weekend without bed time routines and menu negotiations. Only yesterday we fought so hard, only to reaffirm that we both want and need to honor those vows we took when there were stars in our eyes and naive love in our hearts.
Did we know 10 years ago how much that love would have to grow and mature to meet our changing lives? Did we realize that the words "for better or for worse" didn't pertain to lottery winnings and catastrophic events, but rather to balmy summer nights and little irritations that we'd have to let go of in the name of a promise we made 10 years ago? Did we have any idea how much more we'd love each other 10 years out, and how that love is what we hold onto no matter what else goes wrong in our lives? Did we realize that we were signing up for hard times as well as good times, and that "as long as we both shall live" was more than a trite, familiar phrase?
Happy anniversary, honey. There's no one else I'd rather call my husband, no one else I'd rather take this journey with. You're the first one I want to share my good news with, and the one I need when the news is bad. I love you more than I did 10 years ago, and I'm in it for the long haul. Let's work through the bad times and hang onto the good ones, "as long as we both shall live" and maybe an eternity more.