Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eighteen Years In Numbers

My wedding anniversary was on Monday. It was a busy weekend what with the holiday and my family in. We still had guests on Monday, so the day sort of stole up on us. We both knew it was coming, but had decided to celebrate this coming weekend. We agreed we wouldn't even exchange cards until the weekend.

Then my husband went and broke our agreement. He blames it on my parents, who came by with some mums and wished us a happy anniversary. Patrick and I looked at each other a little surprised. I think we had both kind of forgotten what day it was. We kissed and hugged and told each other "happy anniversary," and agreed again to celebrate on the weekend. Then he promptly went out and bought me some sweet little roses. He is not to be trusted, I tell you!

I scolded him and thanked him and as I was placing the flowers in a vase, he blamed my parents and said he couldn't be outdone. It was really very sweet.

Later, I started thinking about how after so many years, things become routine and commonplace. Sometimes we take each other for granted. Sometimes we are irritated with each other. Sometimes we are so busy, the only time we really have to catch up is right before falling asleep--and sometimes we are too tired for even that. Life seems, at times, to be the same thing, day in and day out with very little change and nothing big to disrupt our routine. In short, pretty average stuff.

But as I thought back over the years since we were married, I have realized that we have had excitement, joy, grief, and uncertainty. I am not really a "numbers" person. I have always been more taken with words. But the numbers of our shared lives struck a chord within me that made me stop and look more closely.

Since July 6, 1991 this is how our life together has looked in numbers:

We have lived in 1 apartment and three different houses in two states. Combined, we have worked in 10 different jobs. We have 4 children who live with us and 1 who lives in heaven. We have owned 2 dogs. We have had 9 vehicles. We have traveled to one foreign country. We have vacationed as a couple or as a family at least 8 different times. We have buried three grandparents. We have endured one major blizzard--went out and walked in it even! (What can I say? We were idiots...) Together we have celebrated 69 birthdays and 170 holidays. Together we have shared approximately 6,570 days together.

Not all of them have been good. Not all of them have been happy. But they have all been worthwhile. And I couldn't imagine sharing all of that with anyone other than my husband. He has been my guiding weight. He has been my best confidant. He has been my biggest supporter. He has been my truest love. I only hope I have been to him what he has been to me.

Every day for 18 years we have chosen to love each other; in sickness and health, for richer and for poorer, in good times and in bad. I thank God for granting us such a blessing. And every day, no matter how exciting or how average, I will continue to choose to love him. I pray we will have countless more days to multiply our love.

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! I love you!

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