To My Husband – 21 Years

I remember that blustery February day like it was yesterday.  It was cold, numbingly so, February in Edmonton has been known to break a few records.  But knowing that you were there, waiting for me, waiting for the promise of a lifetime warmed me to my very core. 

I remember walking down that makeshift aisle, in the tiny house, with family close, that hope for a future and promise was beating large in my heart.  And I can’t remember another day in my life where my emotions were wild and roller coaster-like, alternating between scared out of mind and so much love that I could barely contain it.

We were so young.  I was barely 19, barely out of the nest and here I was leaving and cleaving.  You captured my heart as a young girl with your passion and desire to be who God wanted you to be.  I remember well, being huddled close over your pictures from Africa in the corner of Nuffy’s Doughnut Shoppe and thinking to myself that perhaps, perhaps I could start to unfurl a bruised heart and let it blossom under your love.

I will never forget closing the door after the vows were said, the promises made, pictures taken and food consumed. This new life starting together thrummed anticipation and I listened to you strum on your guitar the song that your heart wrote for me, just for that for moment.

It’s been 21 years.  And some of those years have seemed long and hard.  Scraping and eking a life out of empty bank accounts and bills that often piled higher than our faith.  21 years of partnering back to back, shoulder to shoulder, never once giving up on the dream of us.   There have been arguments – some real whoppers – as both of us stubbornly dug in our heels – but acceptance, respect and forgiveness always had a way of leading us back to our knees in grace and gratitude for doing life together, for a cord of 3 strands does not break easy.

 

There have been moments when I thought my sides would split from laughter, curled up in blankets on the living room floor of our first crummy apartment – with the cooler for a coffee table because we were too poor for anything else squinting at our 12 inch television  watching Seinfeld and munching on chips.   Moments when you told a joke that came out of left field that would leave me chuckling for days.  And how many sentences have started with “Do you remember when… “ over these past few years?


I love the way your eyes sparkle and your lips twitch when you’re teasing me.  The way that you laugh at my mixed metaphors and my silly antics all the while letting me know that I am loved and cherished.

For 21 years you have carried this sometimes battered heart in the palm of your hand with such tenderness – gently cushioning me and giving me room  to sprout wings and grow.

We are so much older now, but I am not sure about wiser.  We still make decisions that don’t seem to make sense, but we make them together.  Regardless of our errors we forge ahead never letting complacency lead the way.

 

We are growing softer around the edges and the lines around our eyes, crinkles formed by laughter, tracks left by tears, are a testament to living life together and living it fully. 

I could not have asked for a better partner, a better help mate, a better lover. 

I often think back to that day on the side of a mountain, overlooking a crystalline lake, your hands shook and your words stammered as you knelt there on a path and asked me to be your wife and I said “Yes.”

21 years later, I’m still saying yes. 

Yes. 

 

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