8036 days later…

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Eight thousand, thirty-six days ago, young and in love we stood before a pastor, friends and family. He held my hands and we promised things like …

to have and to hold from this day forward

for better and for worse

for richer and for poorer

in sickness and in health

forsaking all others

until death

There weren’t any dark clouds that spring day. Just blue skies, sweet breezes, and promises of things we were too young to comprehend.

Life tends to be a great teacher and after living that many days together, you tend to learn a thing or two.

How can I put into words 8036 days of living and loving together? Of chasing dreams and forgiving failures?

How do I articulate the squeeze of my heart the first time I saw my man hold each of the children we had prayed for in his calloused hands? Where are the adjectives to describe the wrenching of this same heart when those same dreams died within me and he held me in my grief? How can I tell him what his tears meant to me as we stood together while an older brother laid his unborn baby brother to rest? And, when frightening diagnoses were handed out and he simply held my hand… there are no words for that.

What words do I find to thank him for the nights he reached for me in the dark after hard days of sharp words and misunderstandings? Where are the words to say “I’m sorry” in a million different ways for a billion offenses? And, how do I tell him how much I needed him to lead with his kind and wise ways on the days I was most stuck in my ways? Are there even words to be had?

And what about all the days in between? The ones that have slipped by unnoticed and forgotten? Where are those moments and memories?

It has been said that the years know what the days cannot see.

Twenty-two years together, the only words I know are these…

8036 days later, I love you more.

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