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Ten years ago on Halloween night, I met the love of my life.  Eight years ago on a September evening, he asked me to be his wife.  Six years ago on a perfect September evening, we pledged our love before God and our families.  It’s been a wonderful and wild ride so far.  In the past ten years together, friends have come and gone, new family members have come into our lives, and our babies have been born.  I can’t believe that it’s been six years.

I believe I have the perfect marriage; well at least it’s perfect for us.  For me, the definition of a good relationship is in how your partner effects you.  Are you a better person when you are around them?  Do you consider them in all your decisions?  Do they make you want to better yourself just by loving you?  I have these things, and more.  Marriage is work, and if you don’t accept that you are doomed to fail.  However, if the work is fun, and the journey rewarding, then even the worst days are better because you are together.

It was not a rocky start for us, but it was a very slow one.  I think that my husband is annoyed a little every time I recount the story of how we became a couple, and so I am pretty much going to skip it.  The only part of our beginning that is important is to understand we both knew what we wanted from the first night we met, and discovering that fact over a gradual and sweet innocent time has set a gentle and loving tone for our whole relationship. 

There was a major event in our lives that happened two weeks before our wedding that I believe has changed how I handle our time together as well.  Through the course of a night of poor judgement, the man I love ended up in the ICU at a nearby hospital.  As his condition fluctuated the information about what lasting implications it might have rocked my 23 year old self to the core.  For brief moments, I had to consider that he may die.  I had to mourn the fact that the person who held my heart may never stand at the end of the aisle and wait to stand by me on our fast approaching wedding date.  There was a brief period of time where discussion broached possible life long heart damage or more.  I had to consider a life with him in a new way.  It was horrifying, it was life changing, and it all happened in the course of two and a half days.  When he was discharged, we were informed that he would have no lasting effects and our life would continue on the same path, but with a shaken step.

Two weeks later we carried out our plans to marry with a beautiful ceremony, a great party, and a few weeks later, a dream honeymoon.  But I was changed forever.  Almost loosing him forced me to put a higher value on the present, to really be thankful for what we had, and seize the day a little more.  It pushed up my plans to start a family.  I remembered sitting beside him in the hospital and feeling like one of the greatest tragedies of loosing him would be being deprived of the chance to carry his baby.  We decided to stop preventing the possibility of a family in a conversation we had on our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.  I felt like I had been given a shove from behind to embrace what we had and accept the fragility of life for what it was. 

We simply can’t know how long we can hold the ones we love so dear.  I love him the best I can every day because every day we are married is like a gift from God.  He is my partner, the one who always has my back, and keeper of all secrets.  I do know how lucky I am.  I love my children with ferocity of a mama bear, but it is different and separate in a way from the relationship I have with him.  In the beginning it was just us, and some day the children with head out into the great wide world.  It will be just us again someday. 

We don’t buy each other anniversary gifts, and part of this is because we have never been a very wealthy couple.  The most important part of our anniversary is to spend it together, so whatever money we have to celebrate is spent on being together.  Some years we have more time and money to celebrate, but others are more simplistic.  This year is definitely a lean year so the day will be less elaborate.  Still it will be prefect because we will be together again, just us, no kids or friends.  Perfect.  Happy Anniversary my Love, we’ve only just begun.

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