When I kiss you goodnight and tell you I love you, I’m not sure if it will be the last time. You’re so weak and tired. You are getting more meds to control your pain and discomfort. You told me to go home and be with our family and kids. Always concerned about everyone else. I really believe that if God had asked you to give up your life so that someone else could live, you would have said yes without hesitation.
You were nerdy, skinny, and a smart-ass from the minute I met you. It was a combination impossible for my 22 year old heart to resist. I had to exercise a ridiculous amount of self control and fake coolness to not totally smother you; I wanted you to like me as much as I liked you. My plan worked. Well, God’s plan. It just happened to be the same plan which is my favorite kind. What’s happening right now wasn’t in my plans but how can I be upset when God gave me what I wanted, just not for as long as I wanted?
Our love was risky. We were each loyal to our states – you to Texas, me to California. We compromised and have lived in both places over the years. I knew you had health complications from birth. I never pictured us growing old together but took a chance on love. Even my mother, the unriskiest person on the planet, told me to go for it. So we went in. All in. We married within a year. Our marriage wasn’t perfect but we never talked once about calling it quits. It was and is until death do us part.
Around our seventh anniversary, we had a big talk about what we had in common. We practically heard crickets chirping in the silence. Yes, we agreed on all the really critical stuff – religion, social justice, general politics. But the little things? Not much. We agreed that we both like documentaries and trying new foods. That was about it. You love craft beers. I tried so hard to get on board but it all looks and taste like crap to me – sorry. I love shopping. You would wear clothes until they were embarrassingly tattered to avoid having to buy new stuff. I love sweets. You love salty. You listen to Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and Charles Mingus. I listen to ABBA and pop music. You prefer to be home, I prefer to be out and about. You were a Boy Scout extraordinaire. I was a Girl Scout dropout. But it worked.
Someone recently described our love as fun – like two kids pretending to be grown ups. That seems about right. We were just starting to work on our family mission statement. The first line was “We value people over things.” So we had more in common than we gave ourselves credit for. Thank you for 10 crazy years. I would do it all again.