When I first met him he rolled out from inside a wrestling mat, of course. His charm was misunderstood (he was flirting with her). His credibility was misrepresented over the next week ("You might know my boyfriend Dave Lee!" ...I thought he had a girlfriend at every college).
Three years later he moved in next door. He didn't remember me, but you know I remembered him. He worked at winning me over nonetheless.
The Lake Michigan beach with a bunch of friends was our first outing (that word doesn't mean entirely the same thing today). Top Gun was our first date.
I remember the day he came driving into the apartment complex, bopping along in his sporty royal blue Omni GT, the same way he walks, and he smiled that big beautiful smile. I got this crazy warm feeling. I think that was the moment he captured my heart.
How today we have been married 25 years is crazy, wonderful, and mostly miraculous.
I started out a hopeless romantic. Life in a fallen world as a flawed human dealing with other flawed humans has made me a realist with hope.
I rarely find a greeting card that works for Dave from me. They're so...full of it. The cards I give him usually have words crossed out and additions of my own. Things that do not make it past my pen are phrases like "long lost love of my life", "soul mate", "my destiny", "my reason for living", "my universe". Such bullcrap.
Okay, sorry! I am told there are people who feel these words are true for them. But even my eternal optimism can't comprehend it. I mean, marriage relationship is just incredibly hard. Yes, there are many good things- I for one, contrary to how all of this sounds, feel incredibly blessed. But I feel one of the keys to getting to the 25 year mark and still loving him, is just being real.
The challenges over the years, of financial hardship, making a home together, parenting, losing a child, raising four sons, navigating careers and aspirations, trials and temptations, dealing with deep disappointments & times of despair...well, I don't know how we would have survived them all without being genuine about our hearts with each other and before God, and growing through it all. Plenty of people live in a state of denial. If I may give one piece of advice, I don't recommend parking there.
Here we are, 25 years later. I'm not going to start sugar coating things now. We are committed to love one another, we're not always in love, especially not always in like. But committed, at times like an insane asylum (I'm smiling), to working with each other, and supporting one another.
And through all of it I can say I have a handsome, upbeat, humorous, hard working, man of integrity, who loves God. I am blessed beyond measure. That, I can say with certainty. There just isn't a greeting card to match that. But Dave did wake me up this morning with a card that made me cry, because he put his own words in it.
I am celebrating today, and I am also praying for many loved ones in struggling relationships. But mostly I'm smiling. Because there is Hope. Great big beautiful Hope!
Happy Anniversary Babes. I love you, and today I like you too!