Dear old husband,
I’m aware that neither of us really think of ourselves as old. I wonder if we’ll be old when we’re 80. I’m not quite sure. I don’t know what “old” is but I think we’re there and if not, we must be close because the physical signs are flashing in neon at this point. There are times when I simply can’t believe all that we’ve made it through but then there are times when I’m reminded of every single adventure as they run deep throughout my slowing bones.
Thinking back, way back, those first five years were doozies. We nearly didn’t make it. We were mere 21-year-old babes when we said “I Do.” What did we know? Turns out, not much. But with the help of some older, wiser people along the way, a lot of hard work, a dash of ignorance, a splash of stubbornness and a bushel of grace, we survived.
Do you remember all of those moves? A different home on Christmas for 5 years straight. Wow! We became pros at packing in laundry baskets and unpacking to go back for the next load. Those times we moved while I was pregnant, thanks for doing all the work. I guess it balanced out when you got called out for work so often and at the most inconvenient times. I’ve heard that the only way to get to the other side of something is to go through it. We made so many mistakes in those early years as we grew up together but we went through it.
The next decade brought our third and last child, the wisdom and provision to pay off debt, deaths of loved ones and marital issues we weren’t all that great at handling. But they also brought so many great camping trips, spiritual growth, a settling in to living life as a young family and joys unimagined.
We made it through that “Willy Wonka season” (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie). You know, the one where things got “a little dodgy in that middle part” and we nearly burned it all up? I sure am glad we’re on the other side of that, aren’t you? That was not a fun season. Let’s do what it takes to not go there again, okay?
Throughout our years together we’ve hurdled many a milestone. We’ve navigated the twos, the tens and the teens. We’ve kissed boo-boos “all better” and hugged out heartaches. We’ve journeyed through sickness and surgeries, high school graduations, college years, kids moving out and weddings. We’ve navigated two overseas moves and another handful of domestic ones. We survived the worst marriage trial we could have ever imagined. We entered into the season of aging and dying parents. We’ve explored so much of the world and consumed a satisfying visual and literal feast. And one of the best parts of all, we became grandparents. So many years and so many stories and countless more yet to be written.
You know how they say (whoever they is), “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”? They were right. Often out of sheer stubbornness but sometimes wisdom (to give us a little credit), we stretched our muscles, gritted our teeth and rolled up our sleeves.
This life we’ve built together… it’s like an unlabeled box of chocolates. We take one piece from the box of life that we’d like to spit out and then are pleasantly surprised by how delicious the next one is. The trials and joys of our yesterdays have given us our today and our today will take us to our tomorrows.
We will soon turn another year older. We are but millimeters away from beginning our empty nest years together. I’m not so naïve to think that we won’t have more trials to work our way through but I’m hopeful we’ll walk through them together. Of all we’ve endured and enjoyed, of all the places we’ve been or could have been, being together is my favorite. We are better together.
Dear old husband, you are my favorite adventure. Let’s grow older together.
Your dear old wife