“I will stay with you through the ups and the downs,
oh I will stay with you when no one else is around”
Today is our 9 year wedding anniversary. 9 years ago today I took vows and a ring and a new name and a leap into a new chapter of my life.
This past year has been, without a doubt, the hardest in/on our marriage. We have struggled.
But today, on our 9 year anniversary, I can say that we are stronger than ever.
More in love than ever.
Was it easy to get to this place? No. Not at all. But it was the most important journey that I have ever taken.
“On my love you can rely, and I’ll stay with you”
9 years minus 1 day ago we had our rehearsal dinner, the night before our wedding. About half way through the evening I clinked my knife on my wineglass to get the attention of the partygoers and asked them to follow me into the lobby.
“No, it is not a new car,” I said (only half joking).
The lobby was where I found the banquet hall’s grand piano, and so at this time, as our closest friends and family members stood around me in an arc, I sang a surprise song for my husband, as my sister harmonized with me and a friend accompanied us on the piano.
I chose John Legend’s “Stay With You”. When my husband I were first dating I used to listen to it on my iPod playlist on my way to class. It seemed fitting.
And so I sang, he got teary-eyed and it went off without a hitch (you know…until we got hitched…)
“We have something like a miracle, yeah, and I’ll stay with you
And there will be heartaches and pains, but it through it all we will remain”
To say that my husband and I have been through a lot together would be a tremendous understatement. I have spent over 1/3 of my life with him, and during that time we have had so many things thrown at us.
All the things.
To be brutally honest, sometimes we have thrown things at each other. We have always loved each other deeply, but sometimes, I have learned, you (I) take things out on those whom we love the most.
But, I will tell you something. I love my husband today more than I did at this time 9 years ago, more than I did at this time last year and more than I did at this time yesterday.
We are in a new place. This place that we found when we climbed over that mountain, a steep climb that was filled with rough terrain and whipping wind and ghosts and where, at times, I just sat with my hands over my head, too afraid to move, as hail pelted down on me.
But, we kept on climbing.
Because we had hope; we had faith—in one another.
“But through it all we will remain”
I can’t help but to think of a night last week. We were up late, as we had a lot of life with which to deal.
We were both exhausted and stressed. And we said goodnight and gave each other a kiss (as we do every single night) but we kept talking. We talked about something that our son had said earlier that day that was particularly ridiculous and hilarious. And then we started to laugh. And we laughed so hard that we couldn’t talk and our bellies hurt. We had to force ourselves to stop talking, as night was turning into very early morning. But we held each other tightly, still giggling, in the dark, until we both drifted off.
K, you are my hero. You are the finest human being I’ve ever known. You are a good person.
If you make a mistake, you own up to it and you make changes. You have the best customer service. You strive to make me happy every day—whether it is by bringing home a feather coat, matcha mochi or a big snuggle.
Your strength and resilience never cease to amaze me. You recently told me that you are grateful that I saw the good in you back when we were just kids, getting to know one another and, really, ourselves. Well, I am here to thank you for seeing the good in me. Thank you for standing by me when other people would have gone running for the hills. Instead, you climbed that hill—that mountain—hoisting me on your back when I was too weak to climb on my own.
I will try to follow your example in trying to be the best human that I can be. I will channel my own strength from being able to bask in the glow of yours.
And, no matter what…
I will stay with you.
Happy Anniversary, my love. Today and forever more.
(Lyrics by John Legend)