Sunday, October 7, 2007

1008

Dear K,

As I sit here in our backyard next to this beautiful fire you've built me, on this unseasonably warm October evening, I am reflecting on how remarkable you have made my life these past 16 years. I know in our college days spent apart, we each could churn out an old fashioned love letter in the blink of an eye. And I know those letters are somewhere in the basement, in a box marked with nothing more than the letter K. Much like the only word I would need to describe my life.

I am sitting under my warm quilt, not because of the cool autumn air, but more as protection from the mosquitoes. I look up and see a dark night sky, the stars are large and bright, I cannot name a constellation to save my life, but beautiful is the only word I need right now. My love letter writing skills have become quite rusty.

I can hear you and Fiona and Choppy's voices coming from the dark, warm water of the swimming pool. You three are talking and giggling and splashing, and I hear the whistle of a train off in the distance. An October evening this warm seems surreal. Choppy just calls over to me, "Mom, you were right about the stars." To which I respond, "They're gorgeous aren't they?" Our little ones are clean and cozy in their beds upstairs, tired from a day of fresh air and hard play. Around me, some houses are lit up, some dark, most watching the Bears play the Packers tonight. I know you have your Tivo paused and you will be back to the game shortly, but I appreciate how you take this time, tonight, to make this memory with your daughters. This warm Indian summer evening, on the eve of a day off from school, will seem a distant memory come March when it seems the warm weather will never arrive.

Each day, I appreciate something about you. And each day, I really suck at showing it. I think, for me, the comfort that comes with being together so many years means not fully showing you how appreciated you are each day. How grateful I am for you. You go off to work each morning, most days I am still in my pajamas, to provide for this family. Would I wake up so happy and leave the house with a kiss and kind words for you if I had to go off and work for the day knowing you were going to be sitting at home by the TV or the computer, or perhaps spending money at Target? I think we both know the answer to that .

I know the weight of the burdens you shoulder, the financial responsibilities that come with being the sole provider for our family. I could work. It would be easier. It sure would be more fun to go shopping. But you support me in my decision to stay home. Not to say that I don't get a snide comment from you every now and then about take out for dinner or no clean socks. I understand. I mean really, 'what do I do all day?' But for the most part, I know you appreciate that I am home everyday being a mom to our kids.

I know our wedding anniversary has just passed, but really tomorrow is our real anniversary. October 8, 1991. I know you get aggravated with me every year when I forget our wedding anniversary. I know we always have the great anniversary debate, Sept. 25 or 26? Was it 1994 or 1995? To most, it would sound crazy. How can two people not remember their wedding anniversary? But we never argue about 10-08. It is our day. The day we made a commitment to each other. The day we knew we loved each other. The day we first kissed each other. The day I knew I would spend the rest of my life with you. I love that it is our unspoken number. We may not have a song, but we have a number.

With tomorrow marking 16 years of loving each other I want to remind you how much I truly love you. I know there are times when we fight and argue and on occasion it has crossed our minds to throw in the towel on us. But we never have. You've always believed we are worth fighting for, even when I was too lazy. You make me feel loved like no other. You are the person that knows my true self, the one that I can be honest with. You are the person that passes no judgement. You are my partner, my support and my rock. I don't mean rock in a corny way, though it is kind of , isn't it? My rock. I mean, you are the strongest person I know. Physically and emotionally. For me, you are the one that makes it all better. When I need support with the kids, you are backing me up. When I cannot bear to be criticized by my mother again, you encourage me to just let it roll off my back and remind me that 'she is your Mother,' in the most loving way. When I am mad or upset or ready to fly off the handle and say things I'll regret, you encourage me to calm down and see the bigger picture. You are the calm to my chaos. You are the level head to my impulsiveness. You are the voice of reason to my spontaneity. You are terrible at saying 'I told you so.' And you are the laughter that fills my soul.

No one makes me laugh like you do. Hysterically. Every day. Your laughter is contagious and your humor is infinite. And sometimes, you make me so mad. Can't I ever just be grouchy or crabby? Everyone is entitled to a bad day. Do I always need you trying to make me laugh?


I do.


I am not the person you started dating 16 years ago. I no longer have the body of that young cheerleader, or the energy of my old self either. My hair is usually in a pony tail and I go without make up more days than not. I go too long between pedicures, I throw on yoga pants and a tshirt and consider myself 'ready.' Some days you come home from work after being gone 10 hours, and I have not even showered. The grey hairs are showing, and the wrinkles have begun to appear. Things have sagged and dimpled and expanded. And yet, you still hug me and kiss me and tell me you love me. You make me feel beautiful and loved and cherished. You make me feel wanted. And there is a big difference between feeling wanted and being needed. You give me alone time, and time with my friends. Time to shop and scrap and take a nap.

Now, just because I'm giving you some over due respect, don't let it go to your head. You can still be the biggest jerk I know. You swear too much. You watch too much TV, too many sports. You rarely miss poker night. You like to buy yourself too many toys, and you can be rude and crude. And gross. You never want to go anywhere or do anything. You change into your comfy shorts every time you walk into the house and you wear your new gym shoes when you mow the lawn. You know that drives me nuts. You've had to hire a landscaper for approximately .000000021 acres of land and yet I've had to let my beloved cleaning lady go. Because really, 'what do I do all day?'

But for all that you do K, the good and the bad, there is no one else for me. You are my best friend. You show our kids more love and support and encouragement than I have ever known in my life, and they reflect the best in you.

I know you think I've probably forgotten, but happy 1008 babe. Love you.

9 comments:

Beth F. said...

That was awesome. Beautifully written. He's a very lucky guy.

Family Adventure said...

I hope you showed this to him!
- Heidi

Rachel Anne said...

That was really beautiful! I hope you have a wonderful anniversary!

kari said...

What a beautiful letter! Happy Anniversary!

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Oh how sweet.

We mark our time together starting with our first date, which is a more important anniversary to me than our wedding.

New Diva on the Blog said...

That was truly lovely. Tears in my eyes as I write this. Happy Anniversary.

Mary said...

That is one lucky man! I'm so glad you are able to show him how much he is loved and respected. I'm finding out just how important it is to take the time to let him know.

Add Humor and Faith said...

Beautiful. Exactly what every husband needs to hear. Not that we don't see their faults but that we choose to look at their good points more!

May God bless you with many more healthy, happy years.

ValleyGirl said...

Ditto to that last comment. What an incredible, sweet, honest tribute. I think you and I are married to very similar men!!