I Still Do

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Twenty-seven years ago today, my husband and I were married. There were minor mishaps the day of our wedding. The flowers didn’t arrive on time. Then, as we left the church after saying “I do,” the heavens opened, and we were pelted with rain while a friend furiously rolled up the roof on the convertible we were taking to the reception. Best of all, a stranger crashed our wedding, making off with a bottle of booze. A friend of my husband’s, who shall remain nameless, chased the thief and bashed in the window of his car. Good times.

Over 27 years, we have had our share of hardships and blessings. Four children, financial stress, cross-country moves, emergency room visits, career successes. During the early years, I felt lonely and stressed. We had moved to Los Angeles for his work, and I often found myself alienated and alone, caring for two young children while he tried hard to make rain at work. We finally moved back home when I was expecting our third child. Aside from figuring out how to acclimate myself to cold weather again, I was happier, but he was less so. As each stage of our family life proceeds, we have sometimes come together and at other times threatened to break apart.

Marriage is hard. Everyone knows that, but until we experienced the ups and downs ourselves, my husband and I never realized just how challenging it could be. There have been many days when I don’t much like my hubby, and I know there are times when he’s only half joking about where he’s going to bury the body (mine).

Still, I miss him when he’s away on business and the weight of his body isn’t next to me in bed. I love his smell and the feeling of his strong arms around me. He makes me laugh, sometimes so hysterically the tears roll down my cheeks. He anchors me and makes me feel safe. He accepts all the little quirks of my personality, and I do the same for him.

As our children grow up, we can see the empty nest phase looming. I look forward to the many things I pray we get to share together: retirement, grandchildren, travel, and seeing our own children happy and successful.

That autumn day in 1988, I felt certain I had found my soulmate. Twenty-seven years later, I still do.

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