of the same
of the same
of the same
I feel like I need to sit
with the birdsong
breathe in the stars
close my eyes against
the beauty of the flowers so that they intensify against my lids
The times that challenge us can show us just how much we’ve grown, as well as the areas within ourselves that need more work.
I wish I could explain to you
how this feels
dreams beating behind closed lids
pulsing technicolor wings scraping
feather soft and insistent
Eight years ago, we stood together on a beautiful first day of Spring with our children by our sides, surrounded by our closest friends and family, and made vows to love, honor and cherish each other ’til death do us part. I felt so lucky and so honored to be able to call myself your wife on that day. It was beautiful and fulfilling and so full of hope, love, and naiveté. We felt unbreakable.
In the eight years since then, we have had moments of heart-wrenching beauty, created amazing memories as a couple and as a family, lived many wonderful days full of fun and laughter, and many less-than-wonderful days that have been mundane, repetitive and boring.
We have handled raising kids as a blended family, moving three times, me going back to school, and you starting your own business. We have faced financial hardship, medical issues, petty arguments over stupid things, moments of deep despair and heartache, and certainty from both our perspectives that we were completely wrong for each other and had made a huge mistake. We have fought viciously, cried from the depths of our souls, and said horrible things that of course we didn’t mean (and some that we did). We have behaved with beautiful selflessness and awful selfishness. In spite of our best efforts not to, somehow we have always managed to find each other again.
We have built a life together. A messy, imperfect life, but a beautiful life. A real life.
It hasn’t always been hearts and roses and romance, but every moment of the last eight years has been vital to our growth as a couple, as a family, and as individual human beings. We wouldn’t be who we are today without all of the challenges, setbacks, amazing moments, and mundane, repetitive days.
As we continue to learn and grow together (and love and fight and scream and love and grow distant and reunite over and over and over because dammit WE DON’T QUIT), I am reminded of why we chose the first day of Spring as our wedding day. Every year on our anniversary we are reminded by Mother Nature of the perpetual rebirth and renewal that is a constant in life, and we take that lesson into our own lives, both individually and together as a couple. We hit reset, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward.
Over the last eight years, our naiveté has been knocked out by a hard, unforgiving dose of reality. Instead of foolishly expecting to effortlessly always have romance and good times, we’ve gained the wisdom of knowing that each day we get to make the choice to love and be loved. Each day we get to make the choice to be there for each other, to do the best we can, and to make that day the best day possible. We get to make the choice to create our happiness together.
Over the last eight years, you have helped me to realize the power that resides inside my own mind, pushed me to be the best version of myself, challenged me to try harder, held me when I felt lost, believed in my dreams and talents, and you have always refused to give up on us. You have been the glue that has held us together all these years. Without your tenacity and drive, we would have been lost. I am so grateful for your determination and perseverance. I am grateful for you.
Eight years later, I still feel lucky and honored to call myself your wife, and I look forward to what our future holds. I feel stronger with you by my side, and I know that together we are unstoppable.
Thirteen years, eight months and 5 days ago I met a man at a bar.
At first I didn’t recognize you as mine. At first I thought you were just another man in a bar, easily dismissed and forgotten. At first I continued laughing with my friends, going about my business, not giving you a second thought.
You approached me, gave me your phone number. Instead of throwing it away, as I usually would have done, I called you.
In getting to know you, I felt understood. I felt the pull of something I didn’t understand. I felt hopeful and romantic in a silly way. I felt certain and unshakable in my vision of our future. I acted nonchalantly, as if I didn’t really care.
I recognized you as mine.
When I found out you had a child, I almost walked away. When you introduced me to him, I was terrified. The first time he told me he loved me, I cried.
There have been moments – hours, days, weeks, months, years – of joy. There have been more times than not where we have been convinced that we’d gotten it right. We had this relationship thing figured out – down pat. All other couples should take lessons from us! We were just plain happy.
There have also been moments – very long moments (weeks, months) – of misery. We have mistreated each other, abused each other, taken each other for granted, and been just plain mean. There have been times when we were both convinced that it was over, that we could never recover from whatever had happened between us.
But something unbreakable connects us, it seems. Something stronger than love, more intense than shared parenthood, more important than promises. Something that won’t allow us to end. Souls touching.
Through everything that we have endured and celebrated, every time we cursed each other’s name or shared a lifetime with a single glance, every kiss and touch and words spoken in anger or whispered in love, you have helped me to be the person I want to be. You have helped me to be a better mother, daughter, sister, friend and woman.
You have amazed me with your talents, with your quick wit and patience with your children. You have shown me your strength and determination in the face of adversity and your absolute devotion to what is important to you. Your creativity and simple enjoyment of everyday life has always been astonishing to me. You have taught me how to open up and laugh more easily, and how to not be afraid.
Through it all, I have loved you. Through it all, I have believed in you.
I believe in us.
Happy Anniversary Ryan. I love you.
“I’ll be reaching for the stars with you, honey.
Who cares if no one else believes” –Blue October
Photo by Richard Welter
If I could
I would bring you inside my skin
so you could feel
the sighs and shivers of
that sinuous snake that has
taken up residence
in my belly
so you would know
the tightening and sweetness
the thought of you brings
and the heat of awareness
that slides gently over my limbs
so you could hold in your hands
that permeate my days
so you could set them free
like so many fireflies loosed from a jar
and together we could
watch their blinking lights
be swallowed by the sun
as it rises over the railing of
the verandah where we sit
I with my coffee
You with your tea
while a curly-haired little girl
blows raspberries at our feet.