Although we are apart, today we celebrate our five year anniversary. Five years of laughter, adventure and tears…five years of good times and bad.
Five years ago, when I held your hand and confidently repeated our marriage vows, I envisioned the many beautiful moments that would define our life together.
We would wake up beside each other each morning and fall asleep in each other’s arms at night. We would sign the offer for our first home and build our future in a community abundant in friendships and opportunities. We would hold our child in our arms for the very first time and later watch him grow and learn with pride. We would have a house resonating with the sounds of children’s laughter and footsteps.
I have to confess that although I vowed to stand by your side through the good times and the bad, I wasn’t prepared for the bad. Five years ago, when I held your hand and innocently repeated our marriage vows, I failed to envision the many difficult moments that could define our life together.
We would forego waking up beside each other so one of us could sleep by our palliative son’s bedside each night and later we would have to live apart for weeks at a time. We would have to sell our first house and leave the city we called home. We would hold our child in our arms for the very last time after watching him suffer for seven months. We would have a house resonating with our son’s cries and filled with medical equipment and nursing staff.
This last year has presented us with our biggest challenge as individuals, parents and as spouses. We have learned the depth of our commitment and what it means to really love one another. Five years ago, I had a naïve, romanticized notion of love. Today, I know that although love is celebrated during the good times, it is strengthened during the bad: during long hugs at a hospital bedside, the tight grasp of a hand while listening to devastating test results, and the shared tears at a burial site.
The love that we share is far from perfect but it is real and unyielding.
We have had no choice but to evolve as a couple, our original innocence matured by our shared experience. Today, when I look into your eyes, I see our two sons: the pain of our past and the hope of our future. This will not be an easy journey, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. As we grieve independently and grow as a couple, there will be as many tough days ahead, as there are behind. My only vow to you is to continue walking beside you every step of the way. Until my last breath.
I wasn’t prepared for the bad but I’m not convinced anyone is. I do know that there is no one else I’d rather have by my side. Together, we will continue to find joy in life’s beauty and face its inescapable sorrow. And our love will always be enough.
To life and love. Happy Anniversary.