Happy 25th Anniversary to you, my dear, patient husband!
Saying our vows – you in a spiffy tux, me in yards of satin and lace – we committed ourselves to the union that was being forged between us on that day as ‘heirs together of the grace of life,’” (I Peter 3:7). By the grace of God, that union has endured for twenty-five years, and the inheritance has been sweet. You are God’s gift to me, and I believe that you are the only man on earth who could survive twenty-five years with me!
This business of becoming “heirs together of the grace of life” has definitely been a process. We joke about how our different temperaments showed up even in our baby pictures: me with my arms flying and a wild-eyed grin on my toothless face; you with a coy smile, dimpled hands resting on your knees as if you could already see your future wife and were saying, “Calm down, Michele. It’s going to be o.k.”
DNA notwithstanding, the years have made us one, and I see, more and more, that my prayers for you have become prayers for us – the goals we have set together, the projects we strive to accomplish, our hopes for the four boys God has given to us. Somehow along the way “I” became “we,” and “me” has become “us”; and instead of feeling obliterated or claustrophobic, I see this as an enhancement. Our blending is like the difference between a cheaply-printed sales flyer with its brittle edges of color and the subtle beauty of the blended hues in a watercolor.
I see, also, that even after twenty-five years, my days are still improved in direct proportion to the amount of time I spend with you. What a shock it was for us after Boy Number One was born, and we realized that parenting would send us on different paths so much of the time:
you pursuing a career,
me caring for children;
you stacking firewood, shoveling snow, fixing all the things (so many!) that broke;
me feeding babies, changing diapers, and scaling the heights of Mount Laundry.
All of our naïve notions about life together were reinvented, but through it all, we have been a team, and, once in a while, there has been time for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and two spoons.
I see with my own eyes that our boys are thankful and hard-working because they have grown up in the company of a man who says thank you to me every day, and who works three jobs because he loves his family and wants to provide for us.
Even after all these years of reading Proverbs 31, I’ve managed to resemble that woman in only one way, and it’s because of you: I can “rejoice (the NIV says “laugh”!) in the time to come.” I see our future – our “time to come” — in a favorite poem by Luci Shaw in which she described her marriage as “a rusty trellis propping a thorned rose.” While that’s not a very flattering metaphor, it pictures a love that has endured beyond the sentimental; a love that is decisive, both as attitude and act. Thank you for that kind of love. Thank you for twenty-five years of patience, wisdom, laughter, faithfulness, and shared vision.
Happy Anniversary, my True Love!
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