So, another anniversary has passed without you. We didn’t quite make it to our first one, and I had to take the girls to the baseball game by myself. Those were such painful days. That first anniversary was excruciating.

I cannot believe how long it has been since I’ve been part of a couple. I was out with a friend the other night, and we spoke of how nice it is to be in that comfort of relationship. Another friend called it “The New Car Smell” that happens during the beginning of a relationship. It was then that I realized…we never lost that feeling. Despite the trials we faced as a couple, especially in the beginning, we never stopped feeling so in-love with each other. I’ve heard people say “Well, you guys worked on it…” or “You were only together for five years…”

The truth is, we never had to work on it like other couples did/do. Our relationship was so easy, sometimes I had to check myself to make sure we weren’t glossing over reality. Sure, we had fights, and sometimes, I thought we weren’t going to make it…but our fights consisted of you leaving for 15 minutes to gas up the truck. You always came back, calmer, annoyed still…but ready to stick it out with me. You always told me I was stuck with you. That I had no choice, because there was no return policy on us. You could be frustrated with me, and still kiss me goodnight. And I learned, because you taught me, that I could still love you, even when you threw your dirty socks all over the place. Indeed, I love you, still.

Sometimes, I wonder if we would really have stood the “test of time” as it’s called, and I suppose I’ll never know. This year would have been our “seventh” year for that old itch thing. Would we survive it? Would we come out of it still as a couple, and stronger? I hate to think that we would be so stupid as to throw it all away, but I cannot be sure. I’ve been down that road, and though I have never known a love between two people quite like ours, I don’t know where we would be if you were here, in this sweltering July, instead of worlds beyond.

If only I could have the knowledge between what is truly sacred, and what is worthless, without having to lose you. If only I would have been less concerned with worry and reputation, in order to have the most of the five years we did have.  If only I knew that my shot at true love was limited by time, things could possibly have been different.

But would they really? Does anyone really know, even if they are privy to prior knowledge? Because I never would have guessed. I never would have seen myself here, all this way into the future, alone on my anniversary, missing you, missing us, and wondering about all the “if only’s”….

Anyway, I’ve completed part of what you wanted for us. I’ve finally secured us a home that we won’t ever have to move from, God-willing. I get my keys tomorrow, and I’m free to move in any time after that.  I wanted you to know, because even though it’s taken me this long, I’ve kept my promise to you, to take care of our girls, and continue with the legacy we started together, on a very hot day in July of 2007.  Happy Anniversary, my love.

FYI: My anniversary with my husband was on July 15th. I wasn’t going to publish this letter then, but I’ve decided that it’s ok to post here. I want to look back and remember it, and I can’t think of a better way to do so.

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