Friday, June 10, 2016

No One Else

Today marks a decade since Jonathan and I shared our first kiss as man and wife.

There was a unity candle, a white train that trailed behind my fidgety body, calla lilies that filled the church with perfume, and age-old chords blasting from a piano. It was a gorgeous wedding, but a wedding does not a marriage make. I loved that day, but sitting down to write about our tenth anniversary, white gowns and gold bands do not come to mind.

The last ten years haven't been easy, and in some aspects each one has been harder. We started our marriage in a fog, swept up in ideal futures, white picket fences, and baby names. Getting married and getting started was the easy part. We were obsessed with each other because that was all we had.

Years passed and we learned life was no picket fence. Money was scarce, jobs were demanding, and Nathan was preparing to flip it all upside down. We met our son and learned a new kind of love. Life changed, so we adjusted and continued. Then loss came and everything broke. We picked up, leaned on each other, and loved harder. Owen came, Nora came, jobs changed, and life threw curve balls we never saw coming. Our metaphoric camel is buried under a decade of straw. Sometimes it looks like his back is about to give, but we've gotten good at straightening his legs.

In the last ten years I have learned to love. I know forgiveness and I feel what unconditional means. I could write a novel about the ways Jonathan has helped me become the woman I am today, but when it comes down to it, the message is simple: there's no one else.

No one else can hold me tight enough to catch my breath when the world crashes at my feet.
No one else looks at me with the same intensity.
No one else can make me relax by his presence alone.
No one else could ever have my trust when it comes to backing decisions that scare me.
No one else would be the same sitting in the driver's seat while I roll the windows down and sing into the wind.
No one else can make me feel beautiful without saying a word.
No one else can unravel the worries that make life heavy.

Ten years is a long time, but the most important thing I have learned since that hot June day is that I am his and I can count on my husband, no matter what. {And also that we're still pretty obsessed with each other.}

Day after day, month after month, and year after year, I still get butterflies. I will be the first to tell you marriage is not the piece of white cake we shared on June 10, 2006, but I'll also be the first to tell you that marriage is so much better than the wedding. He started as my friend, he turned into my husband, and now he is more. Jonathan is my partner in life. He makes me whole. No one else could ever do that.

Jonathan: Thank you for giving me your love. Thank you for asking me to return it.
Thank you for holding my hand when I cry, high-fiving me when I get it right, and making my life lighter.
You have made me more than I ever thought I could be. Happy Anniversary.

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Unknown said...

Oh, I love this. Happy anniversary to both of you. Hope you have had an amazing week!

Dorothy Johnson said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your husband and marriage. Your list brought a tear to my eye. I married my best friend and after almost 42 years, I can tell you that the things you've learned in your first ten years will lay a strong foundation for the next 30, 40 or 50 years. Happy Anniversary! May you enjoy many more.

Ami said...

L:over-ly. It is wonderful when people get it. Marriages break up, in my opinion, when one partner doesn't get it and thinks life together is supposed to look like a movie all the time and that without any effort whatsoever on their part. Those qualities and behaviors you outlined help two people to grow, together.