Jan 14th. Our 20th year of being married. These 20 years have truly been 'almost paradisical'.
The years when we were great friends and I sat on your lap to comb your beard, let you know it was time for a haircut or teasingly said if you really liked grandma's property you would have to marry me, all the while dreaming of a tall dark handsome knight in shining armor. It was a while until I recognized it was you-Shrek!
You generously and willingly played with me and any children I had tagging along. Whenever my mermaid scales started drying up, and I needed to find water to swim in, you found it. If I had to name the 2 top things I love so much, they are: you really make me laugh and you are always willing to play. When we couldn't rub 2 dimes together, do you remember the fake fire I made in the box turned sideways. In the opening I drew flames of orange and red and yellow, glued tin foil on the back and candles burning low in between the flames and the foil to give an optical illusion. Rolled brown construction paper logs and a sheepskin rug in front. You cued right in to the scene and instead of making fun of my childishness, asked, "where were the marshmallows', which we happily toasted. Skinny dipping on the top of that mountain in Shoup, where the natural hot springs were; your creative mind had more fun adjusting the rock inlets and outlets to make the water the perfect temperature.
Reassuring me and driving slow, instead of taking offense when I would be terrified of losing our brakes going down steep hills. When you whooped with joy when I revealed being pregnant with Tessa, you forever earned my trust and I knew I could rest in the shadow of your strength. Not once did you act ashamed or trapped. Never had a guy put my boots on skiing, or help me up when I fell, or single me out to be treated cavalierly. I finally experienced feeling cherished and treasured.
The things we enjoyed were so simple and free. The times at the beach when you would dig a hole for my baby belly to fit comfortably, so I could lay on my tummy and admire your body surfing techniques. The time Lana and I looked out, a huge wave came and pounded you so good that when it went back out, your swim trunks were in a heap at your ankles. I almost went into labor laughing at your innocent expression of confusion when you looked down. Your nice, tight backside made me proud! Yep, that's all mine......
Wearing only your cowboy boots and guitar, which your huge fingers could only play 3 (I think) chords on, you would make me swoon with 'Lady' by John Denver and 'Heaven' by Bryan Adams. I was sunk, sing to me - I'm yours.
You never fell into the groove of how our culture defines romance, instead, you have studied me for 20 years and know intimately and perfectly what floats my boat. You win hands down in that department and I can't come close to making you feel how you make me feel.
You made it possible for most of the things on my 'life list' to be checked off. From the five weeks in the UK to getting my shoes polished and everything in between. You have been involved in every way with raising the girls, supporting my desire to homeschool, knowing how important music is to me and providing the medium, from pianos to ipods. You proudly wore my homely homemade shirts and haircuts.
You bought me a mac laptop before I knew I needed one. You encouraged me to use a cell phone early on so I would be safe on all my trips. You cheerfully made reservations for my get- aways and gave me freedom to go when I was desperate for solitude and restoration. You've been so generous trying the ballet, opera, ice skating with figure skates instead of hockey, taking me to bluegrass festivals instead of rock concerts, and not holding a grudge when I can't stand car racing, or monster trucks or football.
You have consistently put your dreams on hold to make sure ours come true. You have never had this huge desire to change the world or make a difference with a big splash. But you are the one rock in my world that doesn't ever crumble or move or leave. You act so happy to build a garden shed for me, carry rocks for weeks for a rock wall, bring me compost instead of cut roses, which just die.
You have led me to believe that I can put on tire chains in a storm along with hundreds of other empowering things. If I had a metaphor for our life this is it:
Last summer when we went motorcycle camping with Doug and Judy, I was the one who had heard about a waterfall up the mountain and was able to talk everyone into going. When we got there it was beautiful, but I so wanted to go to the top and see where it came off the rocks. Being out of shape, 20 feet from the top, I felt like I couldn't go on. You didn't want me to miss my goal, my dream, so came back and helped me get going again. Talked me through to the top. I may look like the go-getter, the visionary, the spunky one sometimes, but truly you make me look brave and courageous, successful and have helped me accomplish so many things by affirming, encouraging, recognizing and validating gifts I didn't know I had, then sitting back- an invisible coach, deliberately letting it look like I've lapped you. Dumb as a fox....... :)
I remember the first time in our marriage when I started trusting you as the spiritual and therefore true, head of our home. I felt like Lois as she is falling out of the helicopter which is falling off the roof of the skyscraper and just in the nick of time, Superman morphs into his real self and flies up, catches her before she plunged to her death and says to her, "I've got you". She yells, "You've got me, but who's got you?" I now, on a regular basis can easily put myself trustingly into your hands, for I know Who's got you in the palm of His hand and know you've got me in yours.
I sincerely hope we have many more rolls of quarters to use up...... Your love has made me beautiful and given me a life uncommon.