For Valentine's Day, my beloved husband wrote me a story of the day we met. He'd started it while we were attending the Writers Forum meeting in Redding on Saturday during a little exercise the speaker had the group do, and we shared our efforts over a salad after the meeting.
But he expanded on it later, remembering how the day had started so uneventfully and had ended in a life change for both of us.
It was and is a lovely story -- my very favorite fairy tale that ends with the prince and the princess living happily ever after. I wrote a little about it here back in 2008. It's still all true. It's still all real and even better than it was then. And we're looking at 11 years of marriage in a few months.
We celebrate Valentine's Day 365 days of the year. We tell each other every day, often multiple times, how glad we are for the other, how much we love the other, how grateful we are for each other. I say gratitude prayers at least once a day for what we have together. We make the most of the time we are together and look forward to retirement when we can once again be together most of the time.
And yes, I know how rare that is.
Neither of us seeks to control the other. We don't criticize, we support, and we always have each other's backs. We have our outside interests and friendships -- although with his job and daily commute, his disposable time has become so rare and so limited that his activities have been severely curtailed. But we prefer to do things together when we can.
We came into our relationship with daughters; they are *our* children now. And there have been issues with each of them -- things that have been hard, time-and-money consuming, some ongoing. Never, ever have either of us complained about 'your' child or 'your' problem. They are ours, hard as it's sometimes been to deal with. And we love them.
The only regret I have is that I didn't find him years and years ago, and yet, I don't know that we would have been ready for each other then. It is our individual life experiences that brought us to the time and place where we could meet and appreciate what we found in each other.
That we were destined to meet is clear to both of us and always has been: out of all the places we could have chosen to live when we each separately moved to the SF Bay area seeking new beginnings, we ended up three blocks from each other. When I put up my slightly vague, somewhat literarily-oriented personals Internet ad on my 50th birthday -- I just wanted to meet somebody to have some fun with -- he found it and replied. Out of all those ads, out of all those people online back then, we found each other. Three blocks apart. If that's not destiny, I don't know what is.
Thank you, my dearest honey, for loving me always and forever. I love you to the moon and back.