Thank you for the past 13 glorious years together. You've brought so much to my life: the great joy you can get only from loving someone who loves you back. You are always my loudest cheerleader, and together we have seen the heights of the greatest joys life has to offer. You trust me enough to let me see your deepest despair, while courageously teaching me how to work through it. You constantly tell me of your love for me, but more importantly, you show it in a million different ways every day.
In thirteen years we have experienced 4 high school graduations, 1 son's successful church mission (another son served a mission before we were a couple) 3 college graduations resulting in 4 separate degrees, 4 children happily married, and 5 grandchildren, with another one due this summer. The happiest of occasions. The most joyful of memories.
We've also loved and supported each other through the death of a brother, a son's mental illness, our own chronic conditions, and 2 job layoffs. We've had our house rocked with earthquakes and have learned to start preparing for disaster - natural, career, or otherwise. Because if we're prepared, there's no reason to fear. At least that's what you tell me, and I choose to believe you.
I've learned to go light on perfume, and you've learned to give me plenty of time and space to get ready to go somewhere. In fact, we always give each other plenty of time and space, but at the end of the day it's so very comforting to give each other a hug, share our days' events, and cuddle up for our favorite TV shows. It's not an action-packed life, but neither of us would like that. We take our excitement in travel to see our far-flung children and grandchildren, and small doses of leisure time in romantic, idyllic beach destinations. Together we've seen Puerto Rico, as well as much of the Caribbean, Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas, (we love our beach-themed vacations!), and we're learning the ins and outs of Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Massachusetts.
It's a wonderful life, heavy on the good stuff, but with enough adversity thrown in to keep us agile, and on our toes. And never once have I felt alone, like I was ever carrying the burden myself. (I suspect, actually, that you carry the heavier portion, but never EVER complain - until it's time for quarterly taxes, and then together we curse the Feds and crusty old Jerry Brown .) You are my true companion in this life and beyond. Every day offers a sweetness only gained from knowing each other so well, we can read each other's expressions from across the room, as well as work together in a small kitchen harmoniously.
I could never have imagined that life could be so wonderful, or could be lived so fearlessly. Because with you, I am never alone - and there is safety in numbers. There's also safety in faith, which you've taught me through example to build on and increase. We are growing older and grayer together, and with any luck we will get a lot older and grayer. Sometimes I am sad about my fleeing youth (well, it's mostly fled) but you make it clear that you only see the part of me that's good and beautiful. As I do you. Thank you for your quiet strength, your steadiness, and most of all, your never ending love. It's been an amazing ride, and I couldn't love anyone more.
Your 13 year old Bride