Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4
Falling in Love is a funny thing, don’t you think? Today is my wedding anniversary, so I am going to do a little reminiscing. Fasten your seat belts! Here we go…
When we were young, love was a white-hot fever. It was something that made me feel like I would explode. Being in love felt like a fierce, maddening passion that would never subside. Sex was urgent and explosive. We couldn’t keep our hands off of each other.
As I grew older, the passion evolved into something different. It wasn’t as white-hot anymore, but it felt stronger, more like the cement hardening on the foundation of a building. My feelings changed, too. Where urgency once lived, comfort found a home.
As time wears on, the history of my relationship continues. Memories serve as reminders of what the past looked like, and gives me hope on what the future will hold. Like a book, the pages are continuously written each day. Pages turning, turning, turning.
Good memories, sad memories, bad memories, happy memories.
My wedding. Husband wiping the tear from my face during our wedding vows. You couldn’t wipe the grins from our faces after it was announced we were married. We were so happy to finally be able to call each other Husband and Wife and begin the next chapter in our lives.
My miscarriage. Husband holding me in our bed the night the miscarriage began. Holding me as I cried, the physical and emotional pain overtaking me. Physical pain subsidizing with a few Vicodin. Trying to take away Emotional Pain by Husband getting me to watch “Caddyshack” so we could laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. Laughter heals everything.
Divorce discussions. 2007 was a very bad year. Not a lot of laughs. But still a compelling chapter in the book.
The birth of my daughter. Waiting for her to take her first breath while I held mine. Waiting to hear the hearty cry of a newborn baby. Husband bitching out the anesthesiologist after he spent a half an hour trying to insert the epidural. I try to remain still even though I’m hunched over my pregnant belly, the contractions are fierce. I am trying to breathe and make the physical pain go away. Chuckling to myself because Husband is losing his shit. He is scared and doesn’t know how to make me feel better. “Caddyshack” is not available at that moment. But he stills tries to make me laugh, even though during the contractions, all I want to do is punch him in the face.
The fabric of our marriage. The laughter. The tears.
We met when I was 17 and he was 18. We were just kids. Twenty-one years later, we are still together. Still together riding the roller-coaster of life. Two kids growing into adults together. We are married. We are homeowners. We are parents. We are partners. We are friends. We are enemies (sometimes). We are "we".
Most of our friends are divorced. Some are divorced and remarried. Some are still single. So far, we have made it through the war. Marriage is not easy. Getting married is very easy. Staying married is not. Every day takes work. Marriage is not something you can coast through on cruise control. Some days you need to press the accelerator, and some days you need to press the brake. But every day you need to start the ignition and make sure there is gas in the tank. And hopefully along the way, you can smile through it all.
We recently went to a Halloween party. The party was hosted by a couple whose children went to the same daycare center Daughter attended. The daycare center was partially subsidized by Ford Motor Company as an employee benefit. Daughter went there because Husband is a Ford employee. The couple whose house the party was at are both Ford employees. I was friends with the wife, mostly because our children were in the same classroom through much of the first 4 years of their lives. She now works at the same Ford plant as Husband (she is an engineer). They have become friends now. She has shared with Husband how unhappy she is in her marriage. Both Husband and I were at her Halloween party. She told Husband that she watched him and me together and she can really tell how “close” we are. We can still look into each other’s eyes and smile that same smile that was on our faces the day we were married. I told Husband we’re still close because we laugh together no matter where we are. Laughter heals everything.
When I look at Husband (depending on the day) I either want to kill him and bury him in the backyard, or I want to give him a great big hug. My feelings sometimes border on extreme contempt or extreme love. I think these feelings are one of the reasons we are still married. I think apathy would be the true killer of our relationship. I mean, even when I want to kill him it’s because he stirs up enough emotion in me that I’ve thought about burying him in the backyard. That’s passion, n’est pas? Sometimes in the middle of an argument, one of us cracks a joke. Most of the time, in any situation, one of us cracks a joke. We're like that. Always trying to find the "funny". Quoting movies. Quoting comedians. Laughter is the best medicine.
We’ve laughed together.
We’ve cried together.
We’ve grieved a baby that never made it.
We’ve celebrated a baby that did.
We’ve fought and made up.
We’ve forgiven each other (and sometimes not).
Through all of our ups and downs, we’ve always had each other.
And I have to thank God everyday that he’s funny. Or his ass would have been buried in the backyard years ago.