My husband is a private man, so I will try to keep this post short and sweet. Today we are celebrating six years of marriage, which means we have been a couple for over ten years. We met in college, we graduated from the University of Saint Thomas together, we bought our first house together, we married, we moved into our house the day after our wedding, we found out we were expecting our first child the day we celebrated our first year of marriage, and here we are now, a family of four.
My husband and I have spent countless hours in the library doing homework and studying for exams together. Together we have gone parasailing and passed our motorcycle license tests. Together we have brought two children into this world and said our final goodbyes to loved ones. Together we have torn up our house and created prettier rooms to live in. Together we have tried P90X and watched the entire series of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. Together we have gone through major job changes and experienced comfortable daily routines. Together we have discussed our views on faith, marriage, raising a family and personal goals. Together we have driven each other crazy, and together we have kept each other sane.
Over the past few days, I have been replaying some of our greatest moments in my head — like our first date, our wedding day, and meeting our children– and thinking about how our marriage and home have evolved over the years. When we were married on April 12, 2008 in a church, we were encouraged to always focus on bringing each other closer to God during our years as husband and wife. When we baptized our children in the same church, we were encouraged to teach them about God and God’s love. When we attended funerals for loved ones, we were encouraged to find comfort in knowing that our loved ones are content with God. This is heavy stuff. On my marriage day I was told I wasn’t the most important part of my husband’s life. On the day my children were baptized, I was told that I was not going to be the most important part of their lives. When I said my final goodbyes to loved ones, I was told that although I will miss those who have passed, they will not miss me. Heavy stuff indeed for a selfish being like me to take in. However, knowing that I am not the center of anyone’s life, including my husband’s, is a sobering reminder of what my purpose is in this world: to give to others without wanting anything in return.
Giving without wanting anything in return is not a way of life that is always easy to practice. This is why marriage is not always a breeze. My husband and I can be selfish, and we know this about ourselves and each other. We can be stubborn, too. Our personalities are not the same, we have different interests, and our beliefs on a variety of subjects differ. We are not complete opposites, but we are two very different people. Our differences create tension at times, but our differences also bring us closer together. Our differences force us to let go of our selfish thoughts and feelings one day at a time. Our differences encourage us to open our hearts more. Our differences help us to see, accept and love each other for who we truly are without judgement or expectations. Marriage is not a breeze, there are some windy days. I feel very fortunate to have such a great man to cling to so I don’t get carried away by the wind.
My husband is my rock.
Giving without wanting anything in return makes life more enjoyable and our relationships with others more precious. This is why marriage is also full of joyful, surprising and playful moments. My husband and I can be very silly and immature. We make nerdy jokes and laugh at and with each other. We know we are not the coolest kids in town, but we are not afraid to be ourselves in front of each other. We find comfort in being able to share our different interests, beliefs and goals with each other. And we admire each other’s strengths. We create happiness together. And when one of us is having a bad day, we give the other a reason to smile and laugh, even if we have to force it out. Yes, we have many responsibilities, but we are always able to make each other feel safe when things get heavy. We help each other to focus on the present and enjoying each moment because our lives are not to be taken for granted. I feel fortunate to have such a great partner to laugh and smile through life with.
My husband is my best friend.
A home may be defined as a specific place where one resides for an extended period of time. But winds may blow a home away. I think Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ definition of “home” resonates the most with me: “Home is wherever I’m with you.” Thank you, Joel, for giving me a wonderful home in this chaotic and beautiful world. And thank you for showing me that there is no greater place to be on Earth than to be here with you right now. In the words of Mason Jennings, “You are the love of my life.”
Our six years of marriage have been an adventure, and I know the adventure does not stop here. It has only just begun. Here’s to another day of the sun coming up.