This is us, thirteen years ago. We were high on togetherness, reveling in the new end of our day together (a kiss, a “good night,” and a settling into our pillows instead of a hug and a parting of ways in our cars). We found fun in grocery shopping late at night, taking our disobedient dog to obedience school, and singing together in our church’s choir. We laughed hysterically at our catastrophes (dish soap in the dishwasher and the resultant shoveling of suds out our back door, bread that rose until it overflowed the pans and puddled in the bottom of the oven, just to name a few). We slept until noon on Saturdays and took weekend trips without a second thought.
Our life together today is different and the same. We still revel in the end of our day together, a kiss, a “good night,” and a settling into our pillows (though I’m often found reading before I switch my light off). We have a new dog, but we’re training her on our own. We still have many catastrophes at which to laugh (more bread that overflowed the pans), a skill I’m still developing. Once in a great while, we sing together. Sleeping in as parents means waking up at 7:30am on a Saturday. We have to work really hard to make a weekend trip happen even once a year…you know, a trip that’s just us. (It took a year, but we’re excited to have two such trips on the calendar in the next few months.)
It didn’t take long for us to taste the dark bitter depths of the words “for better or for worse / in sickness and in health,” and we continue to discover new layers of those wedding vows. I would never have chosen the hard things we’ve endured together, but I’m thankful for them in one sense. Spending so many days and nights in hospitals, tending to very sick children, and planning the funeral of our firstborn, trained us to savor the simple joy of normal every-day little things.
Squaring our shoulders, linking arms, and facing those hard things as two-become-one has welded us together tightly. That doesn’t mean navigating hard things is easy, but it does mean that we’re committed to finding a way together. It means that going our separate ways is never part of the discussion. It means never growing complacent and taking each other for granted. It means that sometimes we stop and acknowledge that we have hit a challenge we’re not prepared for, getting help, and learning better ways to get through that new challenge.
I love you, Scott.