I thought you were hot. You thought I was hot. We were thin. We were buff.
We stayed up late any night of the week and slept in every weekend. We had to set an alarm to get up by 10 am—we were always late for church. We sat close on our basement futon and watched Seinfeld and Mad About You and ER.
We spent every weekend at the home improvement store and bought furniture on credit to stock our new home.
You drove to your job and I drove to mine—we worked long hours. But, we met for lunch at Rosie’s. You sent flowers to my office.
We invented Pizza Thursday and coined the phrase, “There’s no such thing as too much cheese.” I burned many dinners and in the middle of it all, discovered a fantastic recipe for chicken potpie.
We dreamed about our future together—God and work and vacations and goals. And babies.
I talked too much—the extrovert. You talked too little—the introvert. We failed to listen to each other, always.
We misunderstood and disagreed and fought over what color to paint the walls and where we would live and who would pay the bills and how we would spend the weekend. We yelled. We slammed doors. We said and did things we’d later regret.
I cried a lot and prayed a lot and wondered sometimes if we did the right thing—making “You” and “Me” into an “Us” forever and ever.
Not so much a union. More like a collision.
What can I say? Still hot. Still thin and buff. Even with our distinguished wrinkles, gray hair and failing eyesight.
We go to bed early and rise early. There is no sleeping in—ever. You are still late for church–always. I am a Reformed Late Person.
We escape for date nights, where we sit close in the movie theater. We let Netflix DVDs sit untouched for months, because we forget we have a movie to watch. We quote Seinfeld.
We spend every weekend at the home improvement store, because what we bought Then is old and needs to be replaced. We’ve paid off the house and put nothing on credit. We give away extra furniture because our home is overflowing with blessings.
You drive to your job and I stay home for mine (Well, I drive too, but it’s mostly in circles back and forth to school.) We keep forgetting that we can meet for lunch. (We forget a lot of things.) You still send me flowers.
We still have Pizza Thursday and still eat a lot of cheese. I’ve discovered I’m a pretty good cook—I don’t burn much of anything anymore, except grilled cheese (ironic).
We are living out our dreams—all of them. God has us in the center of His will. We love our work. We’re reaching our goals. We take great vacations. And the babies…we have the most beautiful babies.
Miraculously, I’ve become the introvert and you, the extrovert. Except I still talk too much, and you, too little. But we get that now, and we’re okay with it. We both try hard to listen.
The misunderstandings and disagreements are few. We found a comfortable rhythm with bill-paying and weekend-planning. You discovered you suck at picking out paint colors. And I don’t.
We rarely yell. We rarely slam doors (okay—I still sometimes slam doors). But we hold our tongues and watch our steps and extend mercy and forgiveness when we fail. We choose not to keep a tally of words spoken or unspoken, hurtful or careless. We believe the best of each other in every situation.
I still cry, but now it’s mostly over our children—that they’d choose a path of purity, holiness and humility. And that we won’t screw them up. And sometimes I cry at the fear of losing you and maybe having to do life without you. I cry hard when I think you’ve been killed on your bike.
I look at you—the man I married 19 years ago—and I never doubt, not for a second, that I’ve made the right decision. We have celebrated victories and milestones. We’ve weathered loneliness, fear, job-loss, friend-loss, depression, anxiety and death. There is not a man on earth who could fill your shoes. I don’t want anyone to fill your shoes. I love the union we’ve created. We make a great team. I need you.
Happy 19th Anniversary, Jon. I love you now and forever, and ever.
(Tonight, I shall make you chicken potpie. And this post shall be in lieu of a card.)