lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it's been.*
it all started sometime in 1995 when we went to see rouge*, a french film, together. it was an extra credit project for french class, and we were two brown-nosing students looking for our a+ grades. or so i thought. i was at the time--i kid you not--actually jesse's girl.
jesse is a friend, yeah, i know he's been a good friend of mine.
but lately something's changed that ain't hard to define.
jesse's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine.*
once upon a time, quite literally half my life ago, i fell in love with a boy. it wasn't at that film that day, which i left still thinking we were just two friends looking for our a+ grades. it may have been on that long walk with jack the black lab to the football field very close by. it may have been over phyllo chicken with my family on my sixteenth birthday, my gift those black leather string necklaces with the one colorful bead--remember? it may have been on the screened porch, when all our plans for surviving the fall of the globe light overhead failed. was it on the walk to westcott theater with the jaxon co. to see il postino*? i'm not sure.
the only boy who could ever reach me was the son of a preacher man. *
sometime between rides in the tank and prom night, between college applications and a gym class drowning, between freshman orientation and 4:30 dinners, between diner equivalency and slices from tony's (or roma's?), between hot pot ramen and junior spring across the pond, i knew i would marry the brilliant, pensive, handsome boy with the strawberry blond curls.
i was a baby then, i know. am i grown up now? somewhere along the way, we grew up together.
it's been a long, hard road to hell and back. your love meant trouble from the day we met.*
i know now that loving someone fully and completely, wholeheartedly and forever does in fact mean trouble from the start. i know that marriage is asking for a challenge. doesn't paul warn against it? but God is after our sanctification, and how better to sanctify us than to create us with the desire to be one with another, to give our whole selves and lives to each other even as He invites us to wield the chisel in sculpting each other to look more like Him?
we have--and i daresay i do not exaggerate here--been to hell and back over the last ten years. we have grown up together in ways no one ought to have to grow. we have been chiselled together and by each other, and even as a sculpture emerges only as much of the raw material is destroyed, we have emerged--are emerging--through and because of much pain.
but of course, that block of marble is better for having been chiselled, is more beautiful for having its original form destroyed.
my sam-mule, my bayba, my hus, my love: you have always been beautiful. today, ten years after we made it official and fifteen years after we knew we would, you are more beautiful for all the santification you have endured. you are more brilliant, more thoughtful, more intense, more passionate, more tender, more loving, and far deeper than the boy i loved for all his depth and passion, his brilliance and intensity half a lifetime ago. your curls are blond-er than they are red now; is that a symptom of sanctification? you are being washed white as snow even as we continue to slog through the mud together. i would have it no other way. that is to say, of course i would prefer another method of sanctification to chisels and mud...but in this world in which those are the only Way, i would endure it and fight through it with no other than you.
why does the past always seem safer?
maybe because at least we know we made it.
and why do we worry about the future when every day will come just the way the Lord ordained it? *
so i'm excited to rush into tomorrow with you. the past sometimes does seem safer, the future scarier. but our past is anything but safe--and we know we've made it. so let's celebrate half a lifetime of yesterdays, my love, but let's celebrate a lifetime of tomorrows even more. let's delight in what's to come, safe or otherwise. i cannot wait to wake up with you again tomorrow.
and every time i ask you assure you're doing fine,
but your heart looks good by smiling.
you couldn't fool mine.
and by the end of the night your pillow sits to dry.
in a crowded room you're singing, but on the inside you sigh.
and i'll still love you beyond what words can say.
ill take your every suffering moment and bring a better day.
i'll still love you more than what i hope to be.
let me wrap my arms around you.
let me take your breath away. *
to you who know my heart, smiling or otherwise; my pillow, dry or otherwise; my every suffering moment: thank you for taking my breath away. happy anniversary, my love.
love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart,
like why are we here? and where do we go? and how come it's so hard?
it's not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving.
i'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together.*
i love you more...than anyone else. ;) jinx fizzy fizzy fizzy.
(the pictures, a somewhat random selection of favorites, in case you're curious, clockwise from top left corner: high school prom, 1996; Greyledge on Lake Ontario, 1998; wedding, 2000; same; two weeks ago, in Baltimore at friend's wedding; summer 2000, our first in NC. and yes, i'm sure some photograph-worthy stuff happened between 2000 and 2010, but pretty much all of those pictures include children. which was not the point of this collage.)