The kids and I walked in, still sticky from an afternoon at the pool to find this. Hundreds of handwritten notes stuck to walls and windows and frames filled with photos. Today J and I celebrated fifteen years together.
And I flipped through pages of a dusty wedding album that sits high on a bookshelf out of reach. I stared at the two of us, what did we really know about marriage? I knew he was handsome and strong and patient and kind. And he spent his early mornings in prayer.
But in those gold lined pages of 1996, I was the silly girl with hair too high and daydreams of grandeur, claiming my title as wife, vowing to love and to cherish. And I did. I loved J when we bought our first home. But I loved him more when we packed it up, with tears in our eyes and moved hours away, to start a brand new by ourselves. I loved him when he held my hand in the delivery room when our three children were born. But I loved him more when I woke up to his strength beside my hospital bed after a heart numbing miscarriage. I’ve loved this man in a one bedroom apartment and a two-story home and in the city and in this little country home where we’ve parked our lives for now.
And I closed the dusty album from fifteen years ago because even though the pictures are of us, we’re really not the same. And I thought I loved him then, but I know I love him now.