Seven Years

13 Nov

Seven years ago today I married the boy I’d had a crush on for at least 15 years. I never thought he’d actually be mine, but here we are seven years later and by the grace of God still together and in love. We’ve been through a hell of a lot together. So much joy and so much sorrow has been wrapped up in the last 2,555 days that I look around and wonder how we’ve managed to survive the rollercoaster we’ve been stuck on. One thing is clear, though – I’m so glad I’m stuck on it with him.

I wrote the post below (now slightly edited) two years ago, on our fifth anniversary. It still pretty much says it all.

Our wedding day was perfect (minus a centerpiece being lit on fire at the reception, but that wasn’t as dramatic as it sounds), and some of the most fun I have ever had. So much about that day sticks out in my mind that I couldn’t even pick my favorite part. Chip and I were surrounded by everyone we love and we danced and got drunk and had the time of our lives.

We didn’t have the most expensive or elaborate wedding. There were no ice sculptures or $5,000 dresses. But we were focused on each other, on starting our life together, and we knew in the long run we wouldn’t remember exactly what food we had or the color of the napkins. I remember sneaking looks at my new husband throughout the day, wondering that he was mine.

That day, in all of my 22-year-old naiveté, I thought I was signing up for a lifetime of romantic evenings cuddling around the fireplace, 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and an all-around perfect life together. I could never have guessed at what was to come. When tragedy struck our lives over and over during the 2nd and 3rd years of our marriage, I was so thankful that he was by my side to pick me up and love me through everything we were going through. He was my rock, my one beacon of sanity through all of the chaos, the one person who knew when I was about to break, who knew how to make me laugh when I couldn’t stop the tears on my own.

We have been through more in these seven years than some couples go through in fifty and this does not come without a price. Throughout a marriage you expect your spouse to change, to have times when you grow apart and then come together again. For us, we both instantly changed the day my brother died, not to mention the changes brought on by the subsequent hardships we faced after that.

Neither one of us is the same person we were on November 13, 2004. We have had to fight and struggle and try desperately to get to know each other again, to learn how to deal with each other’s imperfections, to reacquaint ourselves with the other. We have had some fights that I am embarrassed about. We have had desperate moments when I didn’t know if we were going to make it through. There have been times when I thought I made his life worse for marrying him.

But here we are. Seven years in. We are learning. We are growing. We have both (and I thank God for this every single second of every single day) made the choice to stick this out, to ask for help when we need it, to try our damndest to be better people, and be better for each other. We are not taking the easy way out and giving up. The miraculous thing is that, for all of our struggles, we are better for it. We are closer. I know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what, he’s not leaving me. We have been through almost the worst life has to offer, and we are still here. Together. I can’t speak on his behalf, but I am more in love with him now than I ever thought I could be.

So baby, thank you. Thank you for sticking around when it would have been so much easier to walk away. Thank you for giving me two children so perfect that I couldn’t have dreamed them up. Thank you for being the kind of Daddy that lets Nolan follow you around with his tools as you bust your butt to make our house exactly what we want it to be. Thank you for being the kind of Daddy that kisses baby dolls and puts on “pretties” just because Tessa wants you to. Thank you for making me feel beautiful, for trying so hard to make me happy. Thank you for taking the time to tell me that you appreciate what I do and supporting me in all my decisions. Thank you for not being afraid to stand up to me and tell me when you think I’m wrong. Thank you for working the job that you do, risking your life every single day to provide us with the life we dreamed up together. Thank you for working so hard to overcome everything you’ve been through, to be the man that you want to be, to be an example for our children of how a man lives his life. Thank you for choosing to stick by me, and to do the work it takes for us to be together and to be happy.

It’s not been perfect, but if it had been, I’m not sure I would understand now how fucking lucky I am.

I have never once doubted that we were right for each other. You are perfect for me. Thank you for being mine.

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5 Responses to “Seven Years”

  1. K November 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I loved this post–happy anniversary.

  2. Life of a Doctor's Wife November 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Beautiful, beautiful words. Happy anniversary. I wish you both decades – millennia – an eternity of happiness and love.

  3. Ryan November 14, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Happy Anniversary — and was it by chance Zach who set the centerpiece on fire? Because I think it was. . .

  4. Sara November 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Wow…this is such a touching post about love. It’s so hard to be tested early in a marriage, like you’ve obviously been. At that point, lots of people think they are aren’t that far in and so, they can leave.

    Obviously, you guys worked through it and I believe this is proof that your love is lasting, like copper that represents the 7th year of marriage. It’s been around for 10,000 years!

    I wish you both many more happy years:~)

  5. Kat November 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Happy 7 years. Hardships in life have a tendency to let you know who should and will be by your side. I loved this post.

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