Monday, July 05, 2010

Once in a lifetime

Eighteen years ago tonight, I danced with my wife for the first time. After months of planning, we found ourselves floating through the surreal experience of our wedding. Even now, it still feels somewhat unreal. In a good way.

For anyone who knows a bit of Hebrew, each letter corresponds to a specific number. The study of those numbers is known as gematria, and has spawned more books, debates and near-riots than any area of religious study has a right to. To make a long story short, the number 18 corresponds to the Hebrew word, "chai", which means "life". Because of this significance, the number 18 shows up rather often in Judaic lore. When we give gifts, they're often multiples of 18 to signify the importance of life. When we drink wine, we don't say cheers. Instead, we say l'chaim. To life.

And in our family, the number's become a powerful symbol of why this life thing is such a neat trip and why we need to treasure it. And as I look back at 18 years of marriage, my second thought - the first one is how the heck time manages to move so quickly - is how lucky I am that my path crossed my wife's. And that it stayed crossed.

Debbie's my best friend. She doesn't just complete my sentences; she echoes what I'm thinking. We don't always agree, of course, but we always manage to figure it out. Together. My writer's voice is what it is because of her influence. I can't begin to describe what it's like to travel through life with her. Suffice to say I'm luckier than I have a right to be.

As our kids bounced into bed earlier tonight and the house slowly quieted down, I looked around at all we've built in the lifetime we've been married. From the outside, we don't look much different than any other suburban family. But from where I sit, it's an extraordinary result of a magical night 18 years ago. I'm blessed to have had 18 years so far, a lifetime with my best friend. Call me selfish for wanting more of the same.

Your turn: Please pop over to my wife's blog and say hello to her. And if you have any suggestions for building lifetimes of your own, please feel free to share them here. The world, after all, needs more happiness.

9 comments:

MorahMommy said...

Happy Anniversary my sweet! I can't wait to see what the next 18 years will bring.

xoxo

dennisthemennis.co.uk said...

I always find it fascinating when I hear others stories of their relationship and similar they can be to mine its a shame other men of this world dont share your zest for pondering! maybe they too would remember how great things really are. May you both enjoy the years to come ....

srp said...

Your wife is a gem and so are you. May you have many, many more... my folks had their 59th this June.

Nikki-ann said...

Congratulations to you both! :)

MB said...

You are a very lucky man. Happy 18th Anniversary. L'chaim!

Carol said...

You are indeed fortunate to have found each other. It's a good feeling, isn't it? Love is so many things that get stronger and stronger each year that goes by... Happy Anniversay you two... the best is yet to come. Love & happiness, always. ♥

From Tracie said...

What a beautiful story of y'alls love and life. My husband and I are about to celebrate our 8th anniversary this month and I feel blessed for every day that we have had together.

Titanium said...

Congratulations on 18 wonderful years together... it's no accident that two friends are still enjoying each other's company so well.

I do believe that is the secret, right there: friendship first and last.

Pamela said...

Congratulations:

suggestion for happy marriage: separate checkbooks. )"