You may remember the concrete wall we sat on in Glenmere Park, many years ago, on which I asked you this question: “Will you be married to me?” Even then, I used an active verb with a present tense – I think we both knew it would be forever.
I can’t help but think of all the lost opportunities I missed to make our marriage better. I should have DAWDLED in that Belgian Chocolate Shop with you, instead of finding a European cell phone to call Ethan on. I should have listened to the Nils Frahm music you were in love with for a while, instead of assuring you that “I’d get to it soon”. Why did I not listen better when you said you are truly an introvert and parties with more than a few people were seriously exhausting? I still am not sure how much art gallery time I have in me, or art museum capability I have, but I say to you now that I want to TRY IT with you.
On the other hand, I can think of many invaluable moments we HAVE SHARED that we didn’t pass up. Remember when we opened those wall-sized windows in our canal house in Amsterdam, above the Noordemarket? The smells of fresh bread and the sounds of that city will stay with me forever. We were together that day; we walked the streets, watching people, watching our kids, SOAKING in that cachet. Our time at the Eiffel Tower is well documented through all our pictures, but the sheer amazing steps into reality that we took together on that rain-splattered bridge is indelible to me. We stood together under Niagara Falls – and grinned ear-to-ear at each other in wonder.
We’ve come to love time together, just sitting; sipping wine, spilling wine, poking at the coals in either the fireplace or the chimenea (depending on the season). Now that our kids are taking off into the world with brave faces, we can see how precious all those days, years, moments with each child are.
Had someone told us, on that concrete wall so long ago, how much WORK this relationship would take and how much we’d have to trust and forgive and talk and listen, I don’t think we would have believed them. As you said recently, we were just BABIES back then. We had barely invented ourselves, let alone examined each other to see who we really were. We loved – that was enough.
What I NOW love is that we have chosen to RE-INVENT ourselves WITH EACH OTHER as we start this phase of our lives. This “third act”, as I guess it’s called. This time of “get to, not have to”. It isn’t like we’ve lived in a desert for the last 27 years, but, right now, it FEELS like we’ve just been DRENCHED in a spring rain over the desert because our growth and flowering and blossoming and RIPENING has been so completely deep and transforming.
I stand in exultant mountain pose, with my heart wide open. You could slay me where I stand – instead you embrace me, hold me, buoy me, and cling to me. We rescue each other, even though we’ve only come to be rescued.
On this occasion of our celebration of 27 YEARS OF MARRIAGE TO EACH OTHER…
I choose MORE.