Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Could Have Been

Four years ago today I popped champagne and ate bagels while getting my hair done.  I was that serene bride, I didn't really have any bridezilla moments, I was sure of what I was doing.  I got laced into a pretty, fluffy white dress and my daddy walked me down that aisle to the man who had loved me from the first time he saw me, the man I had loved a lot longer than I could admit.  And over the last four years I've remembered that naive girl and thought, "Oh, honey." 

Because marriage is not perfect.  Sometimes it's exactly like a movie.  There have been many moments G and I have joked that we really need a camera crew.  We are that romantic comedy.  And just like a good film, we've have the moments of strife, the anger, the tears, the abject loneliness of a spouse who feels a little lost.  But I didn't sign up for perfection.  It's highly overrated and makes for a cheesy film that no one wants to watch.  And since I plan to live a long time, I want the good, the bad, the crazy, and the joyful moments to look back on, replaying them in my mind.

I could have missed my chance again with him.  I could have chosen the wrong boy (there were several that summer vying for me).  I could have maintained a friendship that was straining with the "what ifs" that we'd let slip by already.  I could have watched him fly off to England.  I could have heard him tell me about another woman, a woman who was ready for him, a woman luckier than I.  I could have caught the bouquet at his wedding and realized a little too late that I had royally screwed up.

Instead, I won the lottery.  I finally saw what God meant every time he told me the guy I was praying for was already there.  And no, I don't always feel that way.  But the good outweighs the bad by a landslide.  I have never known anyone else like him, this man who is so complex is still amazes me.  Two months ago I left him a message on his private blog (that he keeps for updating family about Iraq).  I broke into his account, and surprised him with a post on our church anniversary.  Here's an excerpt from the end: 

"I miss the little things.  The goofy look you get when you're half asleep.  The way you shake your booty as you dance around the room.  The way you sing to me.  The way you always keep me company.  The creepy way you like to scare me by peeking over the shower while standing on the toilet while keeping me company!  The way you spend a lot of time staring at me or looking into my eyes.  The way I am most me when I am with you, and that I know you better than you know yourself (and vice versa). 

Oh, and I miss the big things like the nightly leg rubs, the trash being magically taken out, and not having to go up and down stairs 50 billion times a day.  But mainly I just miss you being here.  My safe place has always been with you.  I feel all out of sorts and I don't think that's gonna get better until you're curled up back here with me.  

I love you more than all the stars in all of the galaxies in all of the universe.  I love you more than every grain of sand, dirt and dust from here to Mars.  I love you more than all the drops of water, including all these tears.  You are the most amazing person I know.  Your big heart.  Your crinkly eyes.  Your q-tip head.  Your amazing ability to love even when it gets rough.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day.  "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" 
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt? asked the Rabbit.
 "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become.  It takes a long time.  That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
You make me Real, my dear Bunny." 

So G, on our official anniversary, please know I have never been happier.  I am looking forward to being gathered up in your arms again in September.  And I am most definitely looking forward to spending the end of the year watching you try on your new role of Daddy.  You are the world to me.  Happy Anniversary.  Je t'aime.


  1. This is so sweet it made me tear up! I love that you show the good stuff and the challenges of your relationship and that you're honest. Makes it much easier to relate to you than those people who seem to be trying to be "perfect" because no one is perfect!

  2. Happy Anniversary to you both! May is a busy month for you...birthday, anniverary, what's next?

    I have my birthday in late October and our anniversary is on the 13th...October is always celebratory around here.

    I admire how strong and positive you are staying while your beloved husband is away for so long.

    Have a wonderful day!

    xo, A

  3. Aaaah, I cry every time I read that exerpt! Happy Anniversary!

  4. Beautifully written... you are such a good writer. Happy Anniversary! I think you were a relaxed bride because you just KNEW he was the man for you! xo

  5. That was so heart warming, Happy Anniversary.

  6. Like Adrienne, I really admire how focused and pulled together you are while G is deployed. You have someone else to care for, too, and I truly believe you will be a stronger, wiser mother because of this six-month period.