I thought about writing a new post but after reading this I realized I couldn't improve upon it, although I've added some changes. So, I'm posting it again, since I've spent this week and the week prior to this one at the doctor's office.
Okay, here it is our 33rd wedding anniversary and today I didn't even give you a card. I'm really sorry, my love. I still haven't found the card that I bought for you last year, but I think you're used to me by now. I try to go with the flow and this year the flow is crazy, as always. I'm sure you didn't expect anything different.
You freaked out over the spider bite on my arm last week, but it all turned out okay and I've been given a clean *bill of health*. It looks far worse than it really is. Thank. God. I think I'll live, in spite of the ugliness of said bite.
I know you still love me because you brought me flowers and made me a lobster dinner in spite of not getting a card from me. This is, alas, what marriage is all about... forgiving the little things and looking at the bigger picture. Two wonderful children who don't live at home any longer and thirty-three years of wedded bliss... or something vaguely resembling that. You know what I mean. It hasn't all been roses, but we have survived to make it last longer than any of our friends. (Does that say something about us or our friends?)
Anyway, in sickness (remember that weekend you'd been w/ the frat bros in Vegas? and I'd been in Mexico w/ the wives and we both came home sick and had to fight one another for first dibbs at the toilet?) and in health (remember the day you called me after your 6 month checkup at the doctor's and said, "The doctor says I'll live another six months" and I freaked out and started demanding you tell me what was wrong and you said it was nothing but a joke? I thought I'd die. Or kill you first. Then die.
One year I was in the depression of miscarriage and you stood by me. You helped me stay strong, even though there were others to come that we were yet unaware of. Two more, to be exact. Then, we were finally blessed with two beautiful, funny, intelligent children.
There were years that my family was trying to rip my guts out with their bare hands, making me crazy, but you still stood by me and defended me. Then you made them go away and leave me alone. You. Are. My. Hero.
There were years of plentiful money and flowing oil and gas, but then the lean years came with the bust of the early 1980's and we stood strong, although often weakened by the twists and turns our lives would take. We were never sure of how we'd handle it all, but we knew we still loved each other.
There were even years when we doubted the strength of our love and our marriage, but somehow managed to make it back to love. I thank you for surviving that time with me.
The year your parents both got diagnosed with cancer, was probably one of the toughest years we ever had to bear. We lost our best friends, didn't we? We spent that year taking turns driving them to chemo and taking care of them. We buried your mother in February, then buried your Dad on our wedding anniversary that year. Needless to say, we didn't celebrate the union of our marriage that year. Still, we stood together with what strength we had left.
Not long after that, our son took a foray into the deadly world of drugs that lasted 8 years and there were times I thought I'd die, but you stood by my side, helping me to remain strong, knowing what we had to do. We nearly lost him, but with the help of God, and each other, we were able to finally reclaim him. So, I guess the teenage years were oddly the worst of years with son and the best of years with daughter, although he has more than made up for it now, huh?
When my best friend *Suze* died suddenly, you stood strong for me although I know it couldn't have been easy. It was a hard year for me to get through, but you still stood by me in all my madness.
It has never been an easy road with me, has it dear? Well, it hasn't been an easy road with you either, Mister. What it has been is a journey of discovery, of ups and downs, of good times and bad times, of arguments and problem solving, soccer trips and basketball games, of having money and not having money, baseball games and football trips, cheer-leading practice, PTA meetings, volunteering until we were weak with exhaustion, late nights when the children were sick, Brownie meetings and cookies to sell, karate lessons, mind expanding slumber parties until we wanted to strangle all the kids, yard work, neglecting yard work, summers at the lake, skiing every winter, Six Flags every summer, Schlitterbahn several summers, Sea World, sports camps, summer camps, birthday parties, holidays, box seats at the Angels baseball games in summer, carpool and homework and all of the other filler that goes in between. You of all people, know that there are far too many things to list. Yet, you still stand beside me through it all.
Then at long last, we were once again alone, both wondering if there was enough left to pick up the pieces of parenting and the toll it had taken on us as a couple. There were so many years that we passed one another coming and going with one child or the other, headed in opposite directions. There wasn't time for much else, was there? Somehow, we found that there was a glimmer of a spark that still glowed between us and we were able to get that sucker going again, weren't we?
It might not be the mad passionate love of our youth, but it's the only love I want, Mr. Snoots. Just your love. Just you. You and me, my love. Until we get too old to help the other. Until that time arrives, let the good times roll, baby!
I am yours, forever and always.....