Mike hasn’t been sleeping that well since we returned home from Newfoundland. The trip was amazing and we had a great time visiting Mike’s family in Toronto, seeing the sights of St. John’s with my sister and watching Madison play ball hockey and win a gold medal, but the trip was exhausting for us. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I also know it would be worth it.
Mike slept well for the first time on Sunday night, but woke me early Monday morning. It was about 5:30 and he definitely had something to tell me. Half asleep, I went through the list; “Is your head itchy?” as I scratched his head vigorously, my eyes still closed. “Your eyebrow?” and I scratched both eye brows with one hand like I usually do just to make sure I get the right one. “Your ear?” and I moved the scratching to his ear. I asked him if he needed to go pee, if he wanted to turn over, if he was comfortable. With one eye half open, I re-arranged his arm on the pillow and I fixed his fingers…then I listened. Mike started spelling it out: H? Yes, E? No, A? Yes, T? No, P? Yes, P again? Yes, Y? Yes. It took a while to get the next five letters, A, N, N, I, V, but finally I clued in; HAPPY ANNIVERSARY was what he wanted to say.
June 24th was our 25th wedding anniversary. It was a lovely day. We received so many wonderful messages and cards from family and friends and Mike’s sister Pat was here along with my family which made it extra special.
When I was 19 and newly married, I had no idea what I got myself into. Mike and I thought it was a great idea to run off together and elope, but when the honey moon was over, I wondered if perhaps we should have taken more time to think about it. After all, “till death do us part” is a pretty big commitment.
At that age, I had no idea what I wanted in a husband. I honestly never thought about it much; and there I was saying “I do”. I knew I loved Mike and I was naïve, so that was good enough. I learned over the years what I wanted in a husband and thankfully, Mike had what I wanted. He was far from perfect and sometimes he drove me crazy, but ultimately he has shown me the qualities that make a great husband.
We don’t have a perfect marriage, but we have a good one. At times it was great. At other times it was just okay, sometimes it wasn’t okay, but today it’s this beautiful thing that can’t be rated or graded, it’s precious. Because we don’t know about tomorrow, because we don’t expect to celebrate another anniversary together, we cherish this one so much. We cherish every day…every minute.
On Monday night, our anniversary night, after tucking Mike into bed, I laid beside him with my arm around him. I didn’t say a word, I just held tight. I was overcome with emotion and held the moment as tight as I held Mike. If I could have spoken, this is what I would have said: “Thank you for your utmost respect all the time. Thank you for making me feel smarter than I am and more beautiful than I ever could be. Thank you for the endless laughter. Thank you for making me feel taken care of, cherished and loved beyond measure. And thank you for listening; you are an excellent listener! You are my best friend, a really great lover, a super terrific father, a brilliant person and an incredible man!
If Mike could have spoken, he probably would have said, “Happy 25th anniversary. It’s been the best 24 years of my life!” (Mike’s ongoing joke as the first year was pretty rough) And then we would have laughed out loud together.