It has officially been a decade! Brian and I got married 10 years ago on a sunny but cool day near the shore of my beloved Lake Michigan. My family and friends were all there, and life was beautiful. 4 months later he deployed to Iraq, so we had to make the most of those 4 months. We traveled in Europe for a honeymoon, visited friends in far-flung states, and burned through all our wedding money. It was bliss. The rest of the year proved to be the opposite of bliss. They say that the first year is the hardest. Well, we spent most of the first year apart, across the world from each other, one of us in a war. Talking on the phone infrequently, and writing letters until my hand would cramp.
Funny enough, although we've been through two deployments in our marriage, and Brian has missed more birthdays and holidays than I can remember, he has managed to be around for our anniversary. A well timed mid-tour R&R. Or making it back home from deployment just the month before. I know we have a lot of years ahead of us, and we may not always get to spend our anniversary together from here on out, but we got that first 10.
And it has been a full, blessed first 10. 5 states, 2 apartments, 3 houses, 2 kiddos, 1 dog, 1 fish, and all the joy that a full, blessed life can afford. It has been the best 10 of my life, and I'm excited for what the next 10 hold for us.
During Brian's first deployment he sent me a poem that he wrote just for me. It is something I treasure, and read often, especially if we're going through a rough patch. It always softens my heart. He said I could share it here.
I belong next to you. Of all of the places that I have longed for, the place that I want most, is the place that I can't have. So I content myself to live with you inside my mind. In there I give you all of the things I want to give you myself. We build a house and we choose each stone, brick, tile, beam and piece of wood very carefully. Because this house has to last a long time. It's big and strong and solid, because this is where we continue the process of going from you and me to us. We spend a long time finding just the right size Table. One that is big enough for noisy Children and noisy Grandparents and noisy friends. But, one that is small enough that I don't feel too far from you when it's just us We spend a long time finding just the right Bed. One that is big enough for us and sleepy Babies, and small enough that you are always close to me. We find lights to talk by, and lights to make love by, and pictures to sit under and a couch that is too big because I want to snuggle with You. We fill it with things, even though we don't really like things. As we become us, we accumulate the trappings of our new improved self. And so our house grows and matures and so do we. Our trees grow and our children grow and we grow together and one day there is just us: you, me, the house, the kids, the dogs and all of the stuff that makes us us. And one day one of us isn't anymore and the next neither is the other and that's OK because the larger part of US Will go on being us, The stuff, the dogs, the kids and the house, that I am building in my mind. Until I can be with you and we can start being us, together again. Love always, Your Brian