Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day.

It's easy to be a cynic when it comes to love. After all, so many marriages falter, bend and break under the weight of the day-to-day hardships...the motions and currents of life.

In April, 2004, I walked down the aisle with my husband. We've been side-by-side ever since. Our wedding was a casual affair. So casual, we’d not rehearsed a second of the observance before the event.  It turned out to be truly an occasion of joy and laughter, despite the seriousness and solemnity often associated with such ceremonies. I slipped the ring on my husband’s right finger…a mis-step that made the children standing near us burst into laughter and I quickly followed suit, adding further to the amusement of the family and friends who witnessed it.

And afterward, our families - having known one another for years prior - toasted to our future together.

That forward movement has proved a long, and winding road. We've weathered together the sorrows of losses, the fears of unknowns when confronted with difficult diagnoses, battles on behalf of our children, and the pains of a thousand hardships. We've celebrated together weddings and births, new opportunities and wins, finish lines crossed and mountains summitted. And always alongside the other, better half.

I learned long ago that our family is never complete until Dennis walks through the door. The children and I wait for him each night, for the center of our house - and, in my case, my very self - to waltz in with arms open (they always are) and a kiss for the each of us. In my darkest moments, this simple ritual brings my feet back to the floor, and grounds me for the road ahead.
When my husband and I first married - in those early days when love came in torrents and crashes as opposed to the softness and comfort of an old friend, when we first navigated the making of a home in proximity to the other person, and when we first woke to the breath of the other - I would lay in his arms and think, "Everything is fine so long as he is near." So it has been ever since. The worst moments in my life have been made all right by Dennis and his gentle gaze, the warmth of his arms. We have found our space in the world, and it is with one another.

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