Yes, it’s that time of year again when I get to be a little bit sickeningly gushing about my favourite and best. I get to remind you that we used to look like this (which as the years go on seems more and more ridiculous):
And now we look like this (still smiling, eyes a little more tired than before…):
It’s hard to know what to write after this year, a year of plodding on in the dark, not knowing when healing may come. A year where, at it’s end, despite all the pain, things are looking hopeful and I am full of wonder for a man who has come back into focus again.
At some point recently we read this article of what romance looks like in marriage through the years. It pretty much sums it all up (and saves me writing anymore..)
“But when it’s 10 p.m. and you crawl into bed like two old people and tell each other about the weird things that your kids said that day and laugh and tell stupid jokes and giggle and then maybe you feel like making out or maybe you just feel like playing a quick game of Candy Crush, all the while saying things like, “This game is stupid, it sucks” and “Your feet are freezing” and “My ass hurts,” that’s romantic. Because at some point, let’s be honest, death supplies the suspense. How long can this glorious thing last? your eyes sometimes seem to ask each other. You, for one, really hope this lasts a whole hell of a lot longer. You savor the repetitive, deliciously mundane rhythms of survival, and you want to keep surviving. You want to muddle through the messiness of life together as long as you possibly can. That is the summit. Savor it. That is the very definition of romance.”
We survived good this year.
I think the main story of this year is that we’ve kept on going. Journeying, as ever, always, together. We’ve sailed through many a storm and now, in these days before Christmas, we find ourselves resting at anchor, safe in harbour, wondering what the next year of life will hold. In this place it feels good to go back to the start and remember how we began. I want to remind myself of the tale of how our God plonked us in each others lives and how our stories have been inter-twinned ever since to form part of a larger, wonderful story of grace in this messy broken world.
And so, for the sake of remembering where we started…
To the lovely, incredible husbandface:
I’m trying to remember.
The answer to that question.
When did I first fall in love with you?
Was it that moment I can remember so clearly in a pub 11 years ago for a friends birthday? Your full smiley face, maroon jumper that I still won’t let you throw out, asking me who I was?
Was it a year later? About to embark on community living together, you in full on bounce mode pushing all the buttons in my car like a loony toddler, like you’d always known me. It was like we always had.
Or was it when I came home that night to you on the sofa with a beer? When you sheepishly admitted you’d started painting our housemate’s room but got bored and he was due home in the morning. When we painted into the night and drank beers of joy.
Or those times we cried at a God who seemed to be at work amongst us. When we cried in pain at how hard life seemed to be and held each other in that pain.
Or maybe it was when we rearranged all our books into order one day when the others were out. When we drove to Shoreham airport and chatted about everything and nothing.
Or that Christmas, the seeing Twilight together on Christmas Eve, hosting a dinner party for those left in Brighton and singing loud at a midnight service , then in the morning we sat and played Mario Cart together, went to church and sang happy birthday to Jesus and all I wanted to do was be with you doing those things.
Or those times during that long dark January when I thought life was the worst it could be. When we drank wine night after night and you saw me as I was.
Or when you bounced into the house everyday back from work shouting kathywathydoodadaaa because. Well. That’s what you did.
Or that time I told you not to take your vast emotions out on the rest of us. We cared for you and we loved you. We hugged in the kitchen tight.
Or the random evening you sat in front of me and declared you were going to be single forever. And from seemingly nowhere, having almost given up myself I said, ‘You never know what God might do. There is always hope. Don’t shut that part of you down’. Who knew?
Or maybe it was that evening when, a few glasses of wine in, you hid behind a soft toy dog and said that it was me who’d been making you think again about marriage and all that entailed. Me. And how you liked me. In that way. In that way.
Or maybe it’s been in those countless moments since, your hand in mine, waiting for each other, holding on in the dark, dancing in the light and the joyous refrain of belonging to each other.
Onward we go. The adventure continues.