It seems like only yesterday. My memories of it are still very clear and precious. John and I celebrated our 25th anniversary yesterday. Twenty-five years ago I pledged my life to him and have never looked back. The six months leading up to our wedding were a blur of plans and nerves. I’m sure I experienced the same jitters every woman does before her wedding, but mine seemed especially strong to me. I don’t think I really believed he would go through with it until I saw him standing at the altar. John is a good man any woman would be lucky to have. I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if he had backed out. I’m still not really sure that I deserve him. Even through the times that we couldn’t stand the sight of each other, I never doubted that I loved him or that he loved me. Slowly but surely he has become a part of me in a very real, concrete way.
I think that it’s important in every couple’s relationship to stop occasionally and inventory all the reasons you love someone. Unfortunately, most – myself included – often neglect this important task. I’m going to try to make up for some of those times now. Of course, there are the obvious reasons that anyone who knows John will know. It is funny to me to see the reaction on some of my students’ faces when they meet John for the first time. Consistently their comments center on their disbelief that he and I are married; we are so very different. I think that’s what makes it work so well for us. While there are things which we share with each other, we each have maintained interests other than those we enjoy as a couple. I jokingly tell people that my husband is a head-banger. While that may be an extreme description, it is still applicable. My husband is a music lover. No, let me re-state that: my husband is a music fanatic! He keeps up with all the new bands, listens to alternative stations on the radio, buys CDs of people I’ve never even heard of. He goes to concerts that would leave me with a definite hearing loss and a headache for days. Fortunately, he has a close friend who shares his love of music . Thanks to him, John has someone to go to concerts with and someone to discuss the new trends with. His passion for music is one of the reasons I love him. I’ve known about this particular obsession since we met and it is one of the things about him that makes him who he is.
Another reason I love my husband the way I do is his generous spirit. This special part of him sets him apart from everyone else. He gives of himself in so many ways. I think the most important to me, though, is the way he gave himself completely to being a father to Erin. From the moment we found out she was on her way, she was loved. Even though he already suspected, he let me have my moment to tell him we were going to be parents. Even though she was planned, I was still a little surprised when it actually happened. He knew that I was overwhelmed and a little afraid. He never made me feel foolish for my fears and anxieties. Looking back I’m sure he had his own concerns yet he never let me see them. He was calm when I was crazy, strong when I was scared. Then, as now, he put me ahead of himself. His heart is always with his family – our family. The look on his face the moment Erin was born is one I’ll never forget. It was a look of unselfish love and devotion. There hasn’t been a moment since that her welfare and happiness wasn’t his main priority. Not once has he not put her first, ahead of anything else he may have had going on. His love for and dedication to us speaks of his selfless spirit. Even when he doesn’t say it, we know we are loved. It’s there in his eyes when he looks at us and in everything he does for us.
There are points in our lives that are with me now as clearly as if they had just happened. Those are the things I think about when I stop to think about how we got to where we are. Each of those memories considered separately is special in its own right. Considered as a whole, they define who we are. Some of those memories are of big occasions and events in our lives, while others are private, small moments between the two of us. We are disgustingly compatible. As different as we are that compatibility hasn’t been that difficult to achieve. We simply allow each other to be who we were before we were us. John is still the man I dated, the man I fell in love with. Why would I want him to be any different?