It's been 11 years since that first "I Do". 825 miles... 2 teenagers in love... a lifetime that has come and gone in the span of 11 short years. Some days, it feels like just yesterday when I met that 19 year old boy with the dark, brooding eyes and the boyish smile. Just yesterday when he asked a 17 year old girl to marry him, a girl who exchanged vows from a (lifted) Episcopal wedding booklet (have I mentioned, Terri, that I kept that bootleg book and that we've renewed our vows from it, several times?) 10 days after she turned 18. Just yesterday where, in that moment, my entire life changed and I felt fully reborn. Although we didnt celebrate our marriage with a lovely wedding until 15 months later, after Peter graduated from college, and didnt have our sacramental (Catholic) ceremony until another 4 months later, it is June 17th that we celebrate as our true anniversary. The anniversary of the time when, before God, we made those sacred promises: to love one another... through better or worse... for richer or for poorer... in sickness and in health... forsaking all others... until we are parted by death. And even death, I dont think, could part us. Not then. Surely, not now. No one sends cards on the 17th... No one realizes why we dont accept visitors or hang out on this special day... Peter's grandmother once smiled at me and said "I know that you two got married secretly. How romantic." It was.. Oh, it was...
I love this man. I love him completely. In that sick, movie sort of way that makes you want to gag. In that deep, intense way that you see in the eyes of elderly couples that have lived lifetimes together. 11 years. So much time. So little. 11 years. 6 pregnancies. 3 miscarried babies. 3 precious infants in our arms that passed on too suddenly. 2 babies still safely inside. College degrees. Jobs lost and gained. Caring for a sick parent for 2 years (and beyond). Houses we hated... Houses we loved... 11 years. Several cars later... A horrible car accident that, at one time, we thought was the worst thing we'd ever survive...
He's carried me in my darkest moments, and I, him in his. We've held each other through the pain. Our love has filled in the holes left by sexual assault and sibling death. We've completed one another to where you cant tell where one of us stops and the other begins.
Love. Such a small word. Such a big thing. I love you, Peter. I would live these 11 years again. Being your wife is second only to being mother to our children. It is a call in my life that I will answer every day. A life that I will always live. "For love is as strong as death... Many waters cannot quench love... Neither can the floods drown it..."
I love you for the boy that I still hear in your laughter. I love you for the gray hairs that have started to speckle your (nearly) 31 year old head. I love you for the tiny wrinkles that hide around your eyes and for the five o'clock shadow that scratches my cheek when you kiss me at night. I love you for the kisses that make my heart flutter, for the caress of your hand that makes my breath catch in my throat. I love you for the eye rolls that echo my desire to watch a scary movie, and that you sit and watch it with me anyway. I love you for the long conversations about God and the universe and anything else we can think of. I love that you took a broken me and made me whole again. I love that you have taught me how to forgive the past I cannot change and to embrace the future that we have together. I love you for never hiding your feelings from me and crying in my arms when you need to. I love you, my lean-to. My husband. My best friend. The other half that God created, just for me. My lover. My soul mate. My Peter. I love you, so much.
Happy Anniversary, my dear. This year may be the year that we dont go far or do much, but rest assured that it is still a wonderful anniversary, full of our love and our children.
If the next decades go as quickly as the one that has gone by, then we'll hit 75 years in no time. :) I love you, Peter. Yesterday. Today. Always.