It seems that I am always telling stories. Stories about me. Stories about my family. Stories about life in general. I love telling them, and what I most enjoy is when I get to retell a story over and over again. This week I had the distinct priviledge of telling some of my stories, and some of my more random thoughts, to an author who wanted to interview me. In the midst of my story-telling, I remembered a moment which I rarely speak of, but which has always been quite precious to me.
Valentines Day, aside from being a good excuse for some extra vigorous bouts of kissing, has always been a special day for us. It is the day of our first date. A year later, it marks the day of our engagement. Nine years ago it was the day I completed cancer treatment. Add these to the fact that I am a spoiled rotten princess, and you know it's going to be a sappy, sentimental time of year. That suits me just fine, because I am a sappy, sentimental type of girl.
Hunky Hubby and I always like to look back on the days of our first dates and talk about who we were then verses who we are now. We truly have come so far, and by routes that I never would have guessed. I still find it hard sometimes to believe that we ARE these grown-up people, with children depending on us, and other adults depending on us, and bills to pay, and a mortgage to meet and all the hum-drum cares of everyday life trying to quash the romance out of our existence. Sometimes it wins, but more often it stays kindled in my heart due to one very precious memory.
I have always been blessed with a very romantic husband. From the beginning he swept me off my feet with italian poetry and candle light dinners, and he still manages to out-do himself on a regular basis. That's nice, and I do love it. But romance isn't what makes a marriage thrive. It's easy to buy flowers and jewelry. It's not so easy to look fear in the face and stick around. It's not easy to put all your hopes and love and dreams in one basket only to realize how tenuous life really is. I have many, many wonderful memories treasured up over the years, but one stands out above all the rest.
I remember a man, hardly more than a boy really, standing in the door of an apartment on what was quite possibly the worst day of our lives, certainly, the worst day of our young marriage. I can see him, standing there with tears in his eyes, and I can hear him in a thick voice saying, "You can't go anywhere, yet. We just got started."
And that moment, defined the rest of my marriage for me. Because that is when I knew that no matter what life threw at us, my husband intended to live every moment of it with me. He didn't intend to have anything happen ever that was not in some way inextricably twined with my life as well. He could have chosen to walk away from what was to come, because back then, we didn't know that there were another ten years to be had by us, and with grace, another forty or fifty still to be lived together. But he didn't do that. Instead he laid bare everything he had ever hoped for and pleaded with me not to leave him standing there with a whole life of adventure unfulfilled.
You can't buy that kind of love in a store, not on Valentines day or anyday of the year. There is no intrinsic value to be placed on that kind of love, it is invaluable and irreplacable. I may receive a thousand more gifts in our life time together, but nothing could top the value of that moment.
I'm not going anywhere. And I can't wait to get started!