Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Eighth Anniversary, My Love

To my husband on our eighth anniversary,

I always recall our life together in flashes of light and sound that overwhelm the senses. It doesn't look the way they always told me love would appear. Grand romantic gestures do come, but they quickly pass and what's left is the way we love in the flashes.

We loved in a chorus of beautiful colors and blinding light and deafening sounds. With dark evenings sleeping beside a glowing computer, waiting for a chime to indicate your presence across the world; hours long phone calls spent holding in giggles and squeals at the sheer wonder and joy of it all- this crazy love that was blooming. Butterflies in my stomach at every word you said or sent; There was the climbing of mountains and airplanes taken back and forth across the country for what seemed like an eternity, but was only a few short months. And there was the most perfect diamond ring on my hand. All of this underlined by knowing that this… THIS… was the craziest, most insane, illogical, and risky thing either of us had ever done- A gamble with our lives- and we were helpless to stop the rushing forth into our future.

So further we hurtled into the sights and sounds: we loved in white dresses and suits and ties, flowers and friends and family seated in a sunny chapel. There were endless months spent apart as you served and suffered and missed home for another eternity, and finally there was reunion. Revival. And what felt like light at the end of the tunnel.

The dull brass keys to a tiny house, bathed in sunlight and dust into which we poured our hearts. And long nights spent staring at the popcorn ceiling and humming fan, praying for the child for which we longed and feared we would never hold. And the colors and sounds quieted and dimmed, and they seemed so far away… until into this world she plunged: our pink-faced girl, squawking the tiniest cries into the early afternoon hours.

She shifted the light from to dim to bright, this sunshine girl. And we loved in those wee hours of holding her until she slept, sweet and silent next to our bed, smelling of Baby Magic and milk of my own making; and we loved as we navigated this new world of fluids and milestones and pink everything. When the tears flowed from exhaustion and fear and uncertainty and I thought for sure I was losing my mind, we loved.

When her little head had just begun to sprout wisps of blonde fluff, the familiar pains of childbearing returned and we knew our light was shifting again- Brighter. Louder. Harder. He came after a dark night of walking dim corridors, begging for labor, and he brought with him a jumbled chorus of growls and yells and shouts that can only be attributed to his acute boy-ness. And when you told me I did a great job, and they laid him in my arms and we smiled so wide and laughed so hard at his fits, we loved.

Next came a string of sleepless nights and shirts soaked in spit-up and a screaming boy who disliked very much to be parted from his momma. Blurry days and nights as our little gold-headed children tumbled out of their baby phases and into a new sense of being and doing for themselves. A new chorus of giggles and the sound of chubby little feet pounding overhead as they forge a friendship from our folly. In this big blue house, as light pours in through a hundred windows, the flashes of sight and sound continue and through all of these moments… we love.

We love in hushed whispers before the sun has peeked over the horizon, a splattered mirror as we brush our teeth before bed, loads and loads of laundry done, meals prepared and uneaten, gas tanks filled and cars cleaned out; We love in hours spent away working. We love in “I’m sorrys” and “you’re rights” and toilet seats down, trash taken to the curb, and babies rocked and soothed when thunder shakes the wavy glass of this hulking blue house. We love.

So here we are. Eight years since I wore the silk dress and your tie was green. Eight years since flashes of rings and speeches and toasts with sparkling grape juice. Since that humid Memorial Day wedding of ours. Eight years of flashes adding up to a lifetime of love… and a wish for as many more as my eyes and ears and heart can behold.

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