My Happily Ever After

P1000950Dear Russell,

They say that who you marry may be responsible for 90% of your happiness or 90% of your misery, whatever the case may be.

As you know, recently I’ve become intimately familiar with the casualties of divorce–spouses, children, and pets.  It isn’t pretty.  And it makes me sad.  But it also makes me grateful.

At the time we met, in 2010, I had little hope that my future included anyone other than Blue.  Indeed, then, I envisioned myself living in a small apartment with several dogs, wondering whether I was fated to be “that woman with her dogs.”  And then we met.  To set the record straight, yes, you were late to our first date.  Quite.  No, there was no excuse.  Yes, the servers at the restaurant had pity on me, sitting alone on a Saturday evening, sipping wine, awaiting my very late date who might not show-up.  Truth be told, everyone was relieved when you finally arrived.  It was then we began.

Since then, we’ve had our moments–some sad, some angry, some frustrating, to be certain.  But by and large, the moments we have shared have been breathtaking, glorious, laughter-filled, amazing, and beautiful.  We’ve driven across the United States, stopping at more National Parks than most people ever see in a lifetime.  We sang John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High as we drove through the Rockies.  We’ve visited a brewery and eaten cheese curds in Wisconsin, watched the sun set over Lake Champlain, and dined in Newport, Rhode Island.  We’ve kayaked, hiked, walked or run in more states than many people are ever able to visit.  We’ve parented Blue.  We’ve welcomed a child.  And, together, we have flown more than 20,000 miles in the past two years.

But as wonderful as those moments have been, no marriage is built upon eating out or traveling.  Rather, our marriage has been built upon kindness, communication, understanding and patience.  Not an easy feat for two set-in–their-ways stubborn adults, but it has been well worth the effort.

If, on our wedding day, you had asked me to predict where we would be–and what we would be doing–in five years time, I do not know what I would have said.  Regardless, I am certain I would not have thought to suggest that we would be living in Okinawa, Japan, with our almost-two-year-old daughter, and awaiting the next addition to our family.

I love you. Happy anniversary.

Your Wife.

#FiveYearsandGoingStrong

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