We’ve been together almost as long as we were at home. As I look back on our story, I want you to know that I’m so glad that no matter what has come our way, we continue to choose each other. The wear and tear on our relationship has, at times, been almost to great to bear. Life has given us many chances to walk away and throw in the towel but love just wouldn’t have it. Your love has been the glue that holds our hearts together and I am so thankful for you.
When we were younger, I loved you because you made me laugh until my sides hurt. I loved you because you were adventurous and I never knew what each day would bring. I loved you because you were fiercely protective of me and I felt safer than I ever had before. I loved you because your love for me was overwhelming and all consuming. I still love you for all those reasons but I want you to know that now, all these years later, I love you for much more. So much more.
I hope that you know that even after all these years, I love you deeper because I see you. I’ve seen you trade your carefree youth for that of a man who carries the weight of a family on his shoulders. I’ve gotten to watch you become a father three times and I’ve seen your love grow beyond measure each time. I’ve seen you holding tiny babies in the wee hours of the night with such tenderness and calm that I’ve been envious of the poise you demonstrated under that kind of pressure. I’ve been there when you have walked through the house with the heaviness of your workload wearing ever-so subtly on your face still silently wondering how we would pay our bills.
I see you when you are overcome with stress and worry when our children are hurting and we don’t know how to fix it. I see you when you wrestle with our kids and make them laugh like only you can. I see you when you act like it’s no big deal to sacrifice your time, energy and own needs so that the kids and I can have what we want. I see you when you are packing your bags for work and you slip a picture the kids made you or a note I wrote you in your suitcase so you aren’t so homesick.
I see you when you lose sleep praying over your family and asking God to lead you so that you can lead us. I see you get up early every morning so that I have hot coffee ready when I get up. I see your frustration when you work is heavy, the kids are acting up and I am being too much. I see you take that frustration and pour every bit of yourself into your family to make us alright again.
I see these things, and so much more, everyday that show me what real love looks like. It isn’t in the candy, flowers or little gifts. Real love is the million ways you love us in the middle of the everyday mess.
No matter how loud I am, how difficult I can be or how frustrated you get with my sometimes selfish, stubborn ways, you continue to choose me. And I want you to know that I will always choose you. In a dozen lifetimes and through every situation, you are the one I choose. And I will choose over and over again, everyday for the rest of my life.