Thursday, July 09, 2015

23 years on

Grand Bend, ON
July 5, 2015
My wife and I went to the beach last Sunday. On a global scale, it seems like the kind of everyday trip an everyday kind of couple might take. As it was, we were among what seemed like thousands of people on the sand on the shores of Lake Huron that day, and like pretty much everyone else around us, we generated no headlines from our being there.

That doesn't mean it wasn't a significant moment, though. Something can be meaningful even if it doesn't make the 6 o'clock news. And this day was indeed meaningful because it came 23 years to the day since she threw caution to the wind and married me.

On so many levels, we belong together. We often call each other our "bashert", the Yiddish word that loosely translates as "fated one", because it's difficult to imagine our respective universes existing without each other.

Yet not for a moment since I lifted her veil and kissed her for the first time as her husband have I taken her for granted. I never have assumed, nor will I ever assume in future, that any of this is owed to either of us. If I've learned anything in our years together, it is that marriage - indeed life - isn't the happily-ever-after cruise so often played out in sugar-coated movies. It takes work. Lots of it. And although I'm hardly the paragon of marriage best practice, I realize how lucky I am to be experiencing it, indeed life, with her.

Besides, happily ever after isn't everything it's cut out to be. Like most movies, it's a two-dimensional cliche. What happens in this little world we've built for ourselves is so much more, I don't know, real. It just feels right. I married my best friend, and hardly a day goes by that I don't get that heart-skipping-a-beat-ahead-of-myself feeling that comes from realizing how lucky I was. And, of course, am.

The sheer number, 23 years, sounds like a lot. And as I look at the flecks of grey in my hair, the smile wrinkles around my eyes and the slow ebb of the data flowing from the GPS unit on my bike, I've got plenty of empirical proof of the passage of time. Yet in my mind's eye it still feels like yesterday. It's hard to imagine that our kids didn't exist then. That so many people who meant so much to us then - including Debbie's mom and my dad - are no longer with us. That we left the only city we had ever known and have since built a new life in a new city far from home. That this is now more home to us than we ever thought it would be.

I don't know where the time went, and some days I still wish I knew how to slow it down, put it in a bottle, somehow preserve it in place so that I could hold onto it, to her, for a little while longer. Of course I can't. But I'll take with gratitude whatever time we've been given, and I'm honored to have gotten to spend it with her.


kenju said...

Happy Anniversary to two very special people!! I hope you can have at the very least 23 years more!!

Gilly said...

Congratulations! And lots, lots more happy years. And I really mean that?

Tabor said...

Congraats. This August my husband and I will celebrate our 45th. We are so different and even so much alike. That seems to be our formula for longevity.

fredamans said...

Happy anniversary to you both!

Common Household Mom said...

Congratulations! Happy anniversary!

Max Sartin said...

Congrats on 23 years together!