I always enjoy celebrating our dating anniversary as a chance to think back to when we got started. I remember how I avoided a second date, even though the first one was a great time, because I was fearful that everyone would laugh about my returning to our beloved high school to find a guy. Then once I gave in and just started having fun, it was crazy how during most of our dates we seemed to stumble across fireworks, or that activities I’ve been enjoying about my hometown for years – the monuments, Old Town Alexandria, even the movies- suddenly seemed so much more spectacular with you. With you has our ringleader, we had such a blast and I knew I could not have enjoyed being young and feeling more alive than I did that summer. Late August we said good bye to the summer with a plan to keep hanging out until the fun runs out and here we are 12 years later.
Whenever we come to a milestone, it is an opportunity to look back at how far we’ve come, the things we’ve experienced, and the changes we’ve navigated together. It has been a complete whirlwind and next month, as we celebrate seven years of marriage, there will be plenty more opportunities to honor our bond as man and wife, especially following the seasons we have battled through in recent years, and come out victorious.
This year however I have a unique feeling about June 22. Previously this day has been a bit more focused on lamenting how quickly the dating years went by! Yes they were replaced with the tried-and-true of committed, martial love – but perhaps we should find that couple from before who was just a little more care free and romantic. Yes, they were younger than us and the worries were not even close to the same, but still there was a brightness about them that we still could certainly use. How can we recreate it a little bit now? On the anniversary of 12 years, I am not thinking those thoughts.
Following life-changing surgery, we have been given a new perspective at which to view and live our life. Passions are able to be endeavors, dreams are able to feel like possibilities, travel plans aren’t necessary written in pencil – we have been reintroduced to living life. You were given the chance for a future, thus giving me the opportunity to do a life with the man that I love – not just wait for it to get better. In this moment there couldn’t be more fun and romance, because we’ve been giving it all back. For years we have discovered how to make a fun night in hospital rooms, enjoy trips that were truly based around medical visits, and appreciated the many ways that take out and Netflix can pass a weekend. I have prided myself on the fact that we continue to always try to make it enjoyable, and when given the choice I still would choose the hospital room with you over being anywhere else. But now that we are to the anywhere else part, it is unbelievably awesome! Once again I feel so unbelievably alive.
Since April we have been going on dates, finding new shared interests, talking about goals, continuing to make our house a true home…. all those little things that we had to forgo in the name of illness, are all of a sudden a part of our life. This new world has given us a chance to realize all the fun that we have missed out on, not just as husband and wife, but also as friends, as a team, and as people that just love to live life. I like to celebrate today because I remember where we came from, but on June 22, 2017 I’m celebrating the opportunity to relive the newness admits our whole new world.
This life would not be the same without you Dan. Even though at times it feels the fun is getting close to empty, we always seem to find it again. I see now that we’ve done the best that we could over those years, but I am more grateful for the reward on the other side of the struggle: the chance to embrace a new life. The truth is I couldn’t do this life- with anybody else but you, and I wouldn’t want to either!