Back in June, two (one here, and the other here) friends and fellow bloggers posted on "What I am Grateful for." Both, while grateful for more than one thing, started with their husbands. In two days, my wife will celebrate her birthday. I like to say that we will be entering the period when she is two years older than I.
I am extremely grateful for my wife. She is the person that I can most depend upon. I met her more than twelve years ago, she was leading a workshop in which I was an attendee. I have the clearest memories of talking with her during one of the breaks in the workshop and greatly enjoying her company. At the time, we were both married to other people. Our friendship continued to grow and we would see each other at conferences and other professional situations. Her marriage dissolved in 1999, mine in 2000. It was not that our first spouses were bad people, they just weren't the right people for us. So it was at a meeting in the fall of 2000 that we started dating. We took our friendship to the next level.
We started a long distance relationship, greatly aided by our friends at Southwest Airlines, whose service between Islip and BWI airports greatly aided our courtship. In the fall of 2001, we decided that it was time to take our relationship one step further. Her sister was getting married in January of 2002 and I came down to Washington right after Christmas, with a ring in my pocket. My trips to Washington during our courtship usually involved a great deal of what had been referred to as "social aerobics" by our friends. How many people could we get to see while I was down for a long weekend. On this particular weekend, we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and while I spent much of the evening fingering the ring in my jacket pocket it stayed in there. It was later determined by one of her friends that it might have been in poor taste to propose at a dinner for which I was not paying. :)
Another of the events that weekend was a friend's holiday open house. This event was attended by many of our friends in the DC area and I remember ferrying people upstairs to a bedroom to show off the ring that I was planning to give her. It was decided that I would propose after the party at one of our favorite spots, the Jefferson Memorial. So on the steps of the memorial on a cold December evening, I took to one knee and asked the woman I loved to join me in a lifetime of happiness. As we had both been married before, she likes to say, "Any idiot can get married, it's staying married that's the challenge," we made our plans and were married in May of 2002. It was a lovely day with a beautiful woman and many of our friends there to celebrate with us. Wanna see the DVD?
And here we are six years later, with two boys and our love is still strong and vibrant. We've had some downs, but they are significantly less than the ups that we have had. I remember remarking at the rehearsal dinner the night before we were married that getting married late in life might mean we would not make the milestone of 50 years that my parents made, but our love will certainly last as long as we do.
So here, two days before she celebrates her birthday, I publicly wish my wife, my love, my soul mate the happiest and warmest of birthday wishes. As we look to the near future and some challenges that lie ahead, I know that we will get by and get through whatever life throws at us as long as we do it together.
Happy Birthday my love. You are everything to me.