March 18 and two kids make a decision. A decision that will alter the course of their lives forever. Together they will face the world. Side by side. Shoulder to shoulder. Whomever is the strongest at the moment will take the lead.
They will laugh. Laughter that will echo through forever. They will cry. Tears that could flood the future. They will love. Hard and fast with a fierce loyalty. Together they will create a world for their son. Together they will create a life for one another. I was one of those kids. My partner in crime is gone. Far too soon.
Today is my wedding anniversary. Just because he is gone doesn't mean it's not my anniversary. As I look back over our years together, I am prone to analyze. The decision we made to face this world together. The decision to fight that monster because we went into the situation with our eyes open. The odds were not in our favor. I was 20 and he was 21. Young marriages fail. Our son was born the following year. Young marriages with children fail. They said we'd never make it. They said we would divorce in a year. We were immature. We were children. But we meant those vows. We said them with our hearts. "Until death do you part" meant something to us. For all of our faults, our mistakes, missteps, and failures, we succeeded. We made 20 years.
That day it rained. I stood in the shower and cried. I was frightened. Was I making the right decision? Could we do this with the world against us? Would love really be enough? The officiant had laryngitis. Barely a whisper for our vows. But we made them. As the years passed it became the words that bound us when it got hard. We could not let them win. No marriage is easy. None worth having.
We dug deep when it counted. When there was no money. When he was sick. When things were hard between us. When his grandfathers passed away. When my brother shot himself in our backyard and left me so broken I could not see. We held together when they said it would tear us apart. One of us could always see our way clear.
I was talking to a friend of mine earlier in the week about the weight of my anniversary bearing down on me. First you must know that he is at midlife, never married and no children. He said something that sat me back in my seat. He said "I was thinking.. if someone told me.. "Here .. you can have 24 years with this person that you love and trust.. you will have a kid.. and a wife that misses me as much as you miss him.. but I would lose her.." I would do it in a heartbeat.. I've done and seen and had alot of things.. but Never anything like that.. I wish I could find someone to hurt over like that..." So I have been mulling this over in my mind. Had I known at the beginning, that it would be this way, would I still make the vow?
I can tell you I would do it again. Every step. Every tear. Because I had the laughter. I had the love. I had the life. I have known love that knew no bounds. I have seen the genuine article. I know it exists. It's not the holy grail. I still believe in love. Would I put my heart in harms way to have it filled with what others dream about? In a heartbeat.