This week we will celebrate our 36th Wedding Anniversary. Or maybe I should say Tuesday will mark the 36th anniversary of our marriage as I have written in the past how hard it has been to celebrate our anniversary just three days before Christmas. This year I’m sure will be no less hectic with festive Christmas parties to attend, gift buying, and family home for the holidays. So before all the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I want to take pause to reflect on what my wife and my marriage has meant to me.
Simply put, this woman is the love of my life—and always will be.
Since starting this blog, I have written a number of posts about how special my wife is. And at the risk of repeating myself, last year on our anniversary, I wrote about what a treasure my wife was, not in the sense that she is a possession, but that she is the person I treasure the most.
By today’s standards, we married young and so we have had the opportunity to celebrate a number of anniversaries together. In fact, when we celebrated our 25th anniversary, I recognized that I had been married for over half my life—a most wonderful realization.
So how did this woman become the love of my life? Well even though hindsight is supposed to be 20-20, reflecting back for me has not been as clear. It is analogous to one of my favorite things to witness in nature, the growth over time of plants—trees and shrubs in particular. While viewed on a daily basis, there is little perception of change, but when compared year-to-year, the evolution is strikingly obvious. And much like a young sapling that slowly grows into a majestic shade tree over time, so too has my love grown for my wife.
Our lives together started out much like many other couples, although for us, it was a serendipitous event that brought us together. Following our chance meeting, we dated, became engaged, married, and then started our family.
As with any new family with young children and not a lot of money, there were times when it was hard. The daily rigors of getting them off to school, of picking them up and taking them to their after school activities, of getting dinner fixed and then getting them settled for the night, all left little time for the two of us and our relationship to grow. And yet it did for as the saying goes, those things that don’t destroy us make us stronger, so too my love continued to grow.
Over those years, I’ve witnessed our three kids growing up, moving out of the house, stepping off into their careers and starting their own families. These brief words are but a snippet of the plethora of day-to-day events that took place over the years—events too many to be easily catalogued, but yet each and of themselves, events that my wife and I shared together that quietly added richness to our relationship.
When we became empty nesters, our relationship began to take on a whole new dimension as it afforded us additional opportunities. We began to travel together much more.
We were able to attend whatever activities we wanted to.
We were simply able to spend more time with each other.
Now that our kids have been gone from home for a number of years, even the memories of when they were toddlers running around in the yard are beginning to fade and be supplanted by more recent memories of just the two of us.
But even that is changing again as we became grandparents to three grandchildren within the past year and a half. And as I witnessed my wife wonderfully caring for our children growing up, so too am I now seeing her sharing that love with our grandchildren in a special way.
So returning to my analogy from nature, even though I can’t recall the daily maturation of our metaphorical tree that represents my love for my wife, it has indeed grown majestically over our years together, and our grandchildren are now fresh, young branches shooting out, adding even more to its shade canopy.
Happy anniversary to my wife of 36 years—to the love of my life!