Today I celebrate the 13th anniversary of the day I promised to share my life with my best friend.
That wast a great day.
This one is even better.
Today there is no white dress. No veil. No line of people with presents (although I'm not opposed to that). No buffet. No champagne toasts. Not even a cake.
Instead there is laundry that needs to be put away. Bills that need to be paid. Bathrooms that need to be cleaned. Kids screaming at each other and occasionally at me. There is left over pizza. Kool-Aide. Rice Krispy Treats.
But today there is 13 years of laughing at our own private jokes. 13 years of learning new things about each other. 13 years of bringing our two families together to make one. 13 years of arguments. 13 years of apologies. 13 years of forgiveness. 13 years of saying I love you every night. 13 years of saying I love you every morning.
13 years ago, we promised to love each other through better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
Over the past 13 years we have learned that while we might like the times when we are better and richer, and healthy, we learn more, love more, and cling to God and each other far more tightly when we are poor and sick. When things are worse, sometimes we are better.
When I an weak, Richie is strong enough for both of us.
When I lose faith, he shares his.
When I want to give up, he takes my hand and refuses to let go.
When I don't like the woman I see in the mirror, he wraps his arms around her and calls her beautiful.
When I think I can't possibly love him any more, I see him dancing with our daughter, playing tickle monster with our son, or bringing home the groceries I didn't manage to buy.
Our wedding day was perfect.
But today is better. Because today I know that we keep the promises we made to each other. Today I know that I will never again be without a best friend, a confidant, a lover, an encourager, or a man who would gladly lay down his life for me.
And as we celebrate 13 years of life together, I know he still has another 57 years before his contract is up for renegotiation.
And I can't wait to see what I will know then.