Yep. Today is mine and my husband’s 37th wedding anniversary and we are still going strong! We’re still like two teenage kids that hold hands, kiss often and love spending time with each other. He’s my person and I am dedicating today’s writing to him. He has seen me through so much in not just this past year as an estranged and alienated parent/grandparent, but throughout our life together as well.
We met back in 1973, when we were both in Mrs. Sallen’s art class in the 6th grade. Needless to say I wasn’t all that impressed with any boy back then, even him. His next oldest brother and my older brother were friends and in Boy Scouts together, and as any pestering little sister would do, I tagged along. A lot. I wasn’t necessarily welcomed, but that never stopped me from trying. I was and still am pretty much a tomboy, being a girly girl seemed like too much work back then. Funny, to me it still does. Anyway, I would be a pain in the behind as much as possible but after a while, we all ended up becoming friends. By the beginning of my freshman year in high school, I was known for being a troublemaker, but that’s another blog subject altogether… I wanted to go to the same high school my future husband (we still weren’t an item at this time) was going to but no, I had to go to an all girl’s catholic school. I hated it. I hated it so much I ended up getting kicked out and off to public school I was sent. Still not the same school, but closer. Much closer.
On New Year’s Eve of 1976, my husband to be would walk me home from his house after playing board games and asked me “will you be my girl?” I said yes and the rest is still history in the making. We dated through high school, went to proms and dances together and had a very intense relationship. We are both the youngest of our families, though his is much bigger than mine. Being the youngest was and is interesting to say the least. We learned how to use our familial positions to our advantage, and to this day it shows in some ways. We were crazy for each other then, as we are now. When I look back over the past 43+ years of knowing my husband, I realize how lucky I am to have a man like him in my life. He’s pretty lucky too, but I didn’t believe that until we had been married for a very long time.
We got married in May of 1982, 2 years after graduating high school. We were young, invincible (or so we thought) and not ready (which we thought we were.) All things considered, we have a wonderful life. We’ve had more than our share of trials, errors and failures, but we are still in love and still strong. We have raised two daughters and both daughters are now mothers themselves. We have cried, raged, begged, screamed and cussed at each other. We have loved, laughed, hugged and sought each others’ company out over the years. We’ve treated each other with disrespect and respect, with kindness and meanness, with impatience and patience both. We’ve learned that trial by fire brings the richest and most difficult lessons life can offer. We’ve lost our dads to death within 9 months of each other, and our daughter to estrangement and alienation, but we’re still together. By choice, not because we have to be. We’ve lost so much over just the past two years, but we have learned to nurture one another through losses so great, no matter how hard I try to convey how it feels, I don’t come close. We lean on each other, we hold each others hands and we trust. Without trust we have nothing, and we have everything. Almost everything.
I could never survive the pain and anguish that estrangement and alienation has brought my heart without my husband beside me. He handles the emotional things differently than I do, and I wish I could be more like him in that way. I wear my heart on my sleeve for all the world to see, and he is much more private. I love that he only shares the softer side of his heart with me. I see his love for his family and me shining in his eyes when he sees our younger grandchildren, and I see pain, too. Pain that our older two grandchildren are missing from our lives. I see hope that someday we will be reunited with those two grandchildren, but the years that need to pass between now and then deserve to be lived with joy, and joy is what we will seek as we move toward another year of marriage. I love the man my husband was, is and will continue to become as we hold hands and walk toward the future together.
I don’t pretend to know the secret(s) to a long, happy and successful marriage, I just know our secrets. I didn’t fully accept my husband’s love for me until I left him in 2017, but I will never not accept that love again. I need him, but know I am perfectly capable to stand alone if I have to. I want him, but know we don’t always get what we want. I appreciate him for the steady, loyal and quiet soul that he is. He is the perfect balance to my outgoing nature and I pray that the universe and all its’ powers grants us many more years to come. Years that will see reunion with our alienated grandchildren, years that will bring adventure, joy and peace. I love you, babe, so much. Happy Anniversary!!!