Four years


I remember four years ago like a still picture in my mind. Four years ago, giant snowflakes were falling slowly from the sky. Four years ago, we were surrounded by our closest and most dear friends and family. Four years ago, I looked Eric in the eye and promised to love him always.

Four years ago, Eric said,

I am standing united with you today because I believe in us.
I believe in our past, built on a deep understanding and caring for each other, I believe in our future, one built on love and trust as we grow together.
Together, we feel a deep connection; a connection that has developed into a loving bond.
Knowing the woman you are today, I can’t wait to see the woman you will become as we continue our life together.
I love the excitement and vitality you bring into our relationship, and the joy and laughter you bring into my life.
Each day as we fall in love a little more, I will cherish you and support you.
I will be your best friend and share in all your hopes and dreams.
It is my solemn vow to give you this love, with all my heart, forever.

I was barely able to respond, the tears flowing much easier than I would’ve liked.

Today, I join my life with yours.
You are my dearest love and my best friend.
In your eyes, I see our future in a sea of hope.
In your arms, I feel continual support and comfort.
In the touch of your hands, feel love.
I pledge that I will listen when you speak, and when you don’t speak, encourage you in times of doubt, and believe in you no matter what.
I will be faithful to you forever,
I will be honest with you always,
I will cherish and adore you every moment of my life.
You have awakened my soul and made me reach for more.
You have planted a fire in my heart and brought peace to my mind. This is the love you’ve given me.
It is my solemn vow to give you this love, with all my heart, forever.

Our day was captured beautifully by an incredibly talented woman, Kirsten Loop, of Loop Photography. I still look through our photo albums frequently, so thankful we have these memories.

A lot has changed in four years. I graduated from my MSc. program. We bought a house. I entered and left a doctoral program. We had a beautiful baby girl. Our beautiful baby girl was given her first diagnosis. I started a new job. But, you know what hasn’t changed at all? The love Eric and I share. Okay, it has changed… we love each other more than we did on this day in 2008.

The last year has been challenging. It has been stressful on our relationship. We argue more than we ever have before. But, our arguments are a result of feeling helpless and frustrated, and we’re not really angry at one another while we’re having them. Sometimes we’re just angry at life. Our arguments often end by one of us saying, “Sorry, I’m not really angry at you, I’m just feeling angry,” and that’s that.

Sometimes it makes me sad to think of how optimistic and hopeful we felt on our wedding day – like we could conquer the world together. Then, life happened. As time passes, we’re slowly learning how right we were on our wedding day: We can conquer the world together – we already are. It’s just not the world we thought we were going to conquer. But, really, that would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it? To wake up and live the life you always thought you would lead.

This life is not the life I would have chosen for us. I would take away the 12 hours of therapy every week (that includes driving time, just to be clear). I would take away the frustration Maddy feels when she isn’t able to communicate with us. I would take away that deep worry that exists in our guts, simply because we are parents. I would take away the stress of considering the financial implications of long-term therapy. I would take away the therapist hat that Eric and I each wear each and every day and replace it with just our mommy and daddy hats.

I would take all those things away if I could. But, I wouldn’t take away the life that Eric and I have begun to build together. I wouldn’t take away our past, present or future. I wouldn’t take away the beautiful little girl we have been blessed with. I wouldn’t take away all of the tough, but important lessons we learn every day with our unique and very special babe.

I’m so thankful for Eric. I’m so thankful for our relationship. I’m thankful at how forgiving we each have learned to become. I’m thankful that through Eric, I’ve learned to be less stubborn. I’m thankful to have someone in my life that helps me to let go of the things I can’t control or change. I’m thankful that Eric makes an effort every day to truly understand all of me. I’m thankful that my daughter has an amazing daddy who loves her for who she is, and not for who he wants her to be.

Eric, your biggest strengths as a husband and daddy are the pure and unconditional love that you always offer, even on days when we might not be the easiest to be around, and your acceptance of us, all of us, the good and the not-so-good. Thank you for helping me to learn and grow. I don’t know what I would do without you in my life. I love you, with all my heart, forever. Happy 4th anniversary, love.


8 responses »

  1. Happy 4th Anniversary to both of you!! There’s nothing better than learning that you can depend on your spouse through good AND bad times, and knowing that they will support you no matter what πŸ™‚ Couples that push through the hard times, always come out stronger in the end πŸ™‚ My husband and I have learned so much about each other, our strengths and weaknesses, over these past 8 years together and I cherish the fact that we fall in love more and more each day. It sounds like you guys are the same way! Congrats on 4 years of marriage and to many more! πŸ™‚

  2. Pingback: Mug full o’ kisses « sewrite

  3. That’s the photo I love most: the one of you and Eric surrounded by your family. One of my all-time favourite shots taken as a photographer. Ever.

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