Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us

Tomorrow, June 7, will be our eleventh wedding anniversary.

Put like that, it seems impossible that so much time has passed since we said, “I do.” On the other hand, I feel like I hardly know that girl, who was so happy to have found the love of her life after she’d thought she might have to give up on love—at the ripe old age of twenty-one. (Snort.)

Specifically, I wonder, What was I thinking?

The plain facts, without the gloss of romance to soften them, make me shudder a little, imagining how I’d feel if my daughter got married ten months after meeting a guy. In fact, we didn’t tell our parents, but we talked about marriage after only a month of dating. After we got engaged, I asked Justin when he wanted to get married, and he said, “As soon as possible.” Since he’s seven years older than I am, he’d been dating long enough to know what he wanted: “And I want you,” he said.

He could have been a murderer, an abuser, or a garden-variety jerk who ignores his wife’s needs. So much could have gone wrong. And yet it didn’t.

Because, despite my naïveté and impulsiveness, I chose well. There was an inexplicable feeling of rightness that everyone who knew us sensed, and I think that’s because my husband is a man of great integrity. He is who he is. Like the Bible says, there is no guile in him.

Here’s the kind of guy he is.

He doesn’t begrudge me anything. If I say I need it, it’s mine. (Luckily for our finances, I don’t take advantage of his generosity.)

The night I met him, I thought, “This guy couldn’t tell a lie to save his life.” And I was right; he’s a man of his word. I can always count on him.

Every evening when he walks in the door, no matter how hard his day was, he gives me a hug and scoops the kids up and plays with them. He supplies all the physical fun and games that I’m no good at. He’s such a good father.

Before Mother’s Day, he got some extra money and instead of following my instructions to get me something under $20, he remembered that months ago I had mentioned in passing that someday I’d like a strand of pearls. More than the pearls themselves, the fact that he remembered was the sweetest thing.

He is an optimist and a dreamer—which balances out my Chicken Little tendency to think the sky is falling at any given moment. Amazingly, thanks to his hard work, the dreams are starting to come true.

He is not a pushover. Although he listens to my opinion, he doesn’t let me--or anyone else—steamroll over him. In fact, I appreciate his decisiveness because I am capable of waffling over any issue, including where we should go out to eat, which drives him crazy.

I could go on and on, but I think it’s clear that I married the right guy. As my own mother has said, no one else could have put up with my emotional roller coaster for this long. Justin has stuck by me for better or for worse, in (mental) sickness and in health, for richer (which hasn’t happened yet, but he says it will and I’m starting to believe him) and for poorer. I wouldn’t trade anything for the past eleven years, because even the hard times have brought us closer together. The girl standing at that altar wouldn’t have believed she could love her groom more than she did at that moment.

But I do. Happy anniversary, honey.


  1. This is so beautiful I am actually crying. Geez I need to get a grip.

    Seriously though, that was an amazing tribute to an amazing guy. Congrats.

  2. Oh girl! you did make the best choice in your life.

    Happy Anniversary!

  3. You are so lucky! He sounds like such an amazing guy, a true gem. Happy Anniversary!

  4. sniff, sniff. Happy Anniversary! And I guess that means that tomorrow night is 11 years since Jonny and I first really talked to each other (it was after your wedding when I got stuck without a car and with JoAnna and Shannon), and we did so at the place where he would propose nine months later.

  5. Awwww...happy anniversary!! This was a very sweet post. I hope your husband reads your blog because he needs to see this.

  6. So good. So lucky. He sounds oddly familiar to me. Are you sure he's in your house right now 'cause I think he's sitting on my couch and we got married after only 7 months TO THE DAY! Egads!

  7. Heather, he forgets to check my blog but I will have him read this one.

    Erin--I think it would be kind of a long way to travel between families if we have the same husband! I'm glad you've got a good one too.

  8. I could say "who are you and what are you doing with my husband!" the description fits so well...and he's seven years older than me...but we married when I was 20 and our 40th wedding anniversary is October 15th...lucky us, huh? Happy anniversary my dear, many more...hold on to each other very very tightly, the ride only gets more thrilling from here!