Ten Years Down with Forever to Go…

Marriage is not an easy task whatsoever. It’s not something to go into without the understanding that it will take a lot of hard work, compromise, patience, balance and compassion from both sides. It’s also as much about friendship as it about love. In the
past, I’ve said in passing that marriage is not for the faint of heart because it should not be taken lightly but rather very seriously and gone into with one’s eyes wide open and with all of one’s heart and soul.

As Tim and I celebrate our 10-year anniversary this week, it reminded me just how much respect I have for those couples who have been married for 25 – 50 – even 75 years because that is quite an achievement. While we have actually been together for nearly 16 1/2 years, we finally tied the knot ten years ago on June 30, 2007 surrounded by our family and friends.

Ten years ago, my ready-made family

As I look back on our relationship, it is hard to believe the hardships we have endured and survived, but also all the wonderful things we have experienced and the memories we have created together for us to remember for years to come.

Once again, marriage is not an easy task… And for those, who are courageous enough to take the leap and the chance on starting a life with the person they love most in this world, I say good luck and more power to you.

Both partners have to go into the union open-minded to all the possibilities that every day will not always be sunshine and smiles. But if two people have a healthy, happy marriage, then despite the stormy days the sun will come through to give way to laughter, smiles, hugs and the better parts of being together.

While life hasn’t always been easy for us, we have always found our way together to the other side.

My life summed up in jewelry… my wedding rings and the rings celebrating the two children life blessed me with through marriage and the children God granted me.

Six weeks before our two-year anniversary, Tim and I welcomed our first child together into the world. Both the older kids were actually excited about the idea of having another child in the house. Strange enough, Timothy seemed the most enthused about having another sibling… a little brother to take places and teach things. Then the unthinkable happened. A month after his little brother was born, Timothy left for a weekend of four-wheeling with his friends and never came home.

Marriage can be a true test of your strength, stamina, love, sheer will and your selflessness. Tim and I learned how to be each other’s shoulder to cry on, safe place to fall into and to hold each other up then and continue to do so now. After losing Timothy, we both came to understand how much he was the glue that helped force us to be a family many times when we were all going in a million different directions. At 16, he began to demand family dinners, movie time, and together time. Then we had to force ourselves to pick up the pieces and continue to do those things.

Over time, our lives have begun to take on a new normal. Each day was a challenge in those months following but with a new baby in the house, moving forward was the only option we had. Life forces us to continue moving whether we like it or not. It’s up to us whether we let it roll right past us or take an active role in our lives.

To help us smile even more after losing Timothy, two years later we welcomed another little man into our family. At times, I think this little boy is Timothy reincarnated because of the things Andrew does, says and even his facial expressions. Other times, I believe he may have just been a gift from Timothy to help us continue to heal and move forward with a little piece of him in this little boy.

Memories made at Taylor & Cody’s wedding

Three years later, we entered into a new era when we welcomed our first grandchild. While at the same time we are raising a three- and a five-year-old, our modern family is always in full effect. My stepdaughter, Taylor, fell in love and brought Avery into the world. A year later, we celebrated her wedding to Cody. A giant celebration full of smiles, tears, dancing and alcohol, the wedding was definitely an event we would never forget.

Over the last 10 years, our marriage has been tested too many times to count, but Tim and I have managed to come out on the other side, a little bruised and battered but still good. Many years ago, I told an acquaintance that I know I don’t need to have Tim in my life but I want Tim there since there is no part of my life that I would want to experience without him in it, which I see as a completely different thing. As long as we have each other, we will always figure out the problems handed to us, the crap thrown at us and continue to laugh at each other in the most loving ways.

Of course, there are things I hope we can change or improve together in the future. As for right now, I love the life we’ve created, the children we’ve raised together (and continue to), the paths we travel and the memories we continue to make. I’m ready
to see what adventures the next 50 years brings.

Fingers laced together and heads held high, ten years down with forever to go…

 

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