Sometimes, we miss the mark, deciphering the difference between a relationship and a marriage.
That breathtakingly gorgeous day when we looked each other square in the eye and consciously said “forever”, I think we both made the most concrete commitment of our lives. It was not about a wedding, a day of dress-up, just having fun, or a show for friends and family. Though it was all of that, those aspects came free with purchase. This day…this decision…redefined the way with which we would experience life. No longer would we ever be alone. Physically or mentally. No burden, heartbreak, challenge or triumph would be shouldered or celebrated on our own. There was no escaping, no saying I quit. We were going to do this and we were going to do it together. We made that promise to one another on an evening in the middle of May and our new reality was like lightening through me.
I’m amazed at how much we had to learn about the commitments of marriage. How much five years of combined courtship and marriage would teach us about patience and courage and partnership. I stare at the lines in our faces now, how they’ve been drawn there by time and the weight of responsibility. Etched by worry and so much laughter. It warms me to see the hints in his eyes of the man Pete will be at 80, and the way his hair is even more speckled with gray. I’m so incredibly grateful to be growing older alongside him.
Frankly, there was no love at first sight. The last thing I wanted in my life at that time was a romantic relationship. Yet, I knew he was the one was because Pete was the only guy I had ever dated who I grew more attracted to and in love with as time passed. There was always a peak and a turn downward in all of my relationships before him. But this romance has been nothing but a steady climb. . And I’ve realized that being in a relationship on an incline has made us work harder than ever before. It means walking into the wind occasionally. It sometimes means holding on to each other for dear life when our footing slips.
But the view up here with you, Pete… there’s nothing else in this world that compares.
Happy anniversary, my darling! Here’s to the next sixty years of uphill… and to the mountains and clouds and the stars that await us.
I love you,