Oh, and it's probably going to be long.
In about 48 hours my better half and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage. That may not seem like a milestone to some, but for us it's amazing. It's amazing that he gave me a second glance, and it's amazing I put up with his crap. We are both in awe that it's been five years. On one hand, it's been the blink of an eye; yet, on the other, it seems like it's always been us.
A little background...
I have been married before. It was a most spectacular debacle in the same manner as a Lifetime Movie Special. One you wouldn't watch. Although it lasted for close to a decade from first date to final divorce decree, it felt like a lifetime of disappointment with the exception of the births of my children. I lost my pride, my health, and an ocean of tears, but one thing I never lost was hope that there was someone out there who would love me and be happy with just me. There had to be someone for whom I was enough just as I am, warts and all. And I promised I would love that person with every ounce of my being because he respected me and loved me.
Now, many years before Debacle Marriage, I knew a boy in high school. To say we didn't run in the same crowds would be an understatement. He laments to me quite often of how he heard me having a conversation in high school and was terrified of my potty mouth. (In my defense, I do not remember this conversation, but it's probably true.) I, however, recognized his stellarness even at this age and had a huge (secret) crush on him. He thought I was scary.
Fast forward to seven years ago.
My first marriage was over, and I was adjusting to the thoughts of life as a single mom. Because I have an amazing family and rockin' friends, it was not the scariest thought ever, but I had the same doubts every person going through this does: Do I want to ever date/marry again? Will that person be up for this? What if they don't love my kids? (Cause that is completely unacceptable, and you'll be kickin' rocks before I choose you over them.) Then, a surprise lunch offer.
One date became two became twenty and then a proposal by the beach on a star-filled night. This man, the same one I had frightened so many years ago, stood before God, our family, and our friends, and agreed to love me and my children for all time, and I promised him the same. Life began as a family. There were rough spots: illness and surgeries. There was beauty: the birth of a child. Through it all, it's been us together.
I don't think I can sum up the feelings I have for him. I love him; I respect him; I am in awe of him; I adore him. He has been strong for me when I couldn't. He let me fall apart and put myself back together, and I never doubted he would be there. I am a firm believer in soulmates. There are people you can love and be married to, but there are others who are just more than that. Beyond all there is, he is tied to my heart.
To my husband: It is with a full heart I say thank you...thank you for asking me for that first date; thank you for deciding you could walk into our insta-family; thank you for loving my family despite our craziness; thank you for asking me to be your wife; thank you for being there even when I deserved less; thank you for encouraging me to be me (even though "me" can be tough); thank you for being that man I dreamed of so hard and for so long.
I love you. Lv, me.