Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago today My Beloved and I were married. Wow. That is a long time in words. It is a long time in memories too. We've been through it, My Beloved & I. Good, bad, horrible, no good, ugly days, some pretty amazing ones too have come and gone in those 22 1/2 years.
I just can't seem to get past the 22 1/2 year thing. That is only 2 1/2 years away from 25 years! Oh. my. goodness. In 2 1/2 years we will have been married one-quarter of a century! And we have an almost six-month old baby! Ei, yi, yi. What are we thinking? Oh yes. That's right. Uhm, we aren't necessarily thinking. We are busy knowing we are in love. Still. More than then.
In love. Sounds so easy and small but in reality those are two of the biggest words there are. They hold so much in their small letters. So many dreams, realities, fantasies, wishes, hopes, and prayers are contained in those two words. Babies, cuddles, kisses, hugs, embraces, bills, mountains, valleys, dry dusty places, family to grow, groceries, jobs, joys, sorrows, there is more than words can say about being in love.
In love sees the hard coming and keeps on going, sometimes it rushes forward to meet the difficult, just so it can get to the glory beyond. In love also recognizes the pricelessness of the small moments and willingly slows to embrace each second of sweetness before it passes beyond reach. In love hurts ever so much yet knows that too will be good, when one is in love.
22 1/2 years later, today is better than then. I hope that I am better than then, that 42 years of living is more mature than 19 years. I hope I love My Beloved bigger now than then. He does me. 22 1/2 years later there are things I would do different, not all of them in my marriage. 22 1/2 years later I would tell my Aunt Barb that I would rather have her at the wedding than a gift. Though that wouldn't be necessary because 22 1/2 years later My Beloved and I wouldn't have a wedding. We would just get married and start living life.
Twenty-two-and-a-half years later we now know what we really want, to live life together until God takes us home. We know ourselves enough to know this now. We also now know that it is ok for us to be us, to make our own banana split, if you will. A wedding, cake, dress, candles, all were nice, but so not necessary, so not us. Preparing for the rest of our lives together is the major; the rest are all minors. We know this about ourselves now.
The fireworks aren't when the preacher says "You may kiss your bride." They show up smack dab in the middle of the down and dirty of daily life. When there are small tired children hanging all over me, baby spit up streaking my top and pants and My Beloved shoots me an "I want some of that" look, that's where it's at. That's where happily ever after resides. Romantic sparks shooting across the room from one set of weary parent eyes to another's is the realest sort of "I do" there is. Those same weary parents snuggling close as desire gives way to the snores of the weary, that's real love baby. That's where awesome and amazing take root.
Knowing My Beloved would dearly love to throw out my holey yoga pants but doesn't because they're my favorite, love is screaming loud then. Me reading articles on hunting, guns, survival, trying to figure some of it all out, that's a type of lingerie all its own. A cattle rancher surprising his wife of 22 years with coffee beans, chocolate, foot lotion, and hand creme after baby number seven, off the charts romantic, that's what that is. Two married people calling themselves lovers after 22 1/2 years and seven children, yes sir and ma'am, that is what in love looks and sounds like. Wrinkles, white hair, sags, bags, and freckles try to tell us we're ugly and old, but My Beloved and I know the truth. In love is ageless. It never dies, never ends. In love just gets better, sweeter, richer, fuller, deeper. Sometimes, it even gets sillier. Yes, sirree, today is better than then, and tomorrow? Tomorrow will be still more.
Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago My Beloved and I were eating steak that room service delivered to our hotel room. Tonight we will be feasting on love and leftovers. I'll say it still again, Today is better than then. For today we know more who we are and what love is. We've lived love enough to know it's worth the hard and the tears. They are minute compared to the laughter and the joy in love brings. And now I am out of here. My Beloved is home, and we're living life full...because we're in love.