Well here we are. 20 years. We should have made all those bets that said we would never last 5 years, huh?
You promised me that on our 20th we would take that honeymoon we never had, remember that? I sure do… 🙂 We were driving through South Dakota, having been married about 8 days, after loosing all our wedding presents and much of what I owned in the world to a fire a few days before, you asked what was wrong? What was wrong?! On top of what had happened with a fire, I replied that I was irritated that you had not planned a honeymoon. You were legitimately shocked that I felt that was your responsibility, even after I explained that my family had planned, paid for, and traveled to YOUR state and house where we knew NO ONE to get married. My parents even paid for your tux, etc. I figured you had one responsibility, ONE THING, you could do. Although you were still surprised I was mad, you promised we would do something awesome for our 20th.
Here we are.
Instead of some grand adventure we saved up for, we are taking every little extra penny and using it for Emma’s monument. But that is ok. Because that is what is important.
What if someone, instead of telling us that we would not “make it” in marriage, that we would loose a child instead? Would we have treated every second of our life together more tenderly? I know that we do now, and I think we did a pretty good job up until last year, we both knew how lucky we were.
When I look back to even this time last year, the things I love about you are so different now. I always try and list what I love about you on our anniversary, I could have never imagined how much they could change in a year. More in a single year, then the previous 19.
1. I love how you can diffuse an argument between me and one of our older children.
2.I love how dedicated you are to making sure Emma’s spot is beautiful.
3. Thank you for not caring what color I dye my hair weekly.
4. I love how you can laugh off the fact that you commit to match a $500 donation in front of 500 people, only to find out it was actually $1500… Seriously, sorry, that was my bad! 🙂 You are a good sport!
5. Thank you for paying for thousands and thousands of dollars of groceries for other people these past years.
6. Thank you for making our home somewhere that our children’s friends feel welcome and safe, and for giving them someone to talk to.
7. Thank you for being the one who went to get Emma and bring her home to us. For being the one who had to do the really hard stuff, for trying to protect us the best you can in that regard.
8. Thank you for always making me feel beautiful, especially when I don’t feel like it. That time I stepped out of the shower, having just had a baby, feeling completely disgusting, and you told me how beautiful I was, and I know that you really meant it.
9. Thank you for being such a phenomenal Father to our children. That is the best gift you could ever give me.
Finally,Thank you for being the one who walks beside me through this pain we are experiencing. You and I are the only ones who can possibly understand what the other is going through. Thank you for the way you reacted, when at the most terrible point, I begged you to take my life so that I didn’t have to go through the pain of loosing Emma anymore. You said just the right things to bring me back, to make me understand what I was asking, how selfish I was being and what the consequences were. I apologize again for that.
Marriage is not what either of us expected. It is hard, it is really hard. Like, really, really, really hard. But it is also the best thing. It brought these kids to us. It made us a family.
It is with you that I have experienced my greatest pain, but also my greatest joy, and that is what this is all about.