Today Don and I are celebrating our 21st anniversary of wedded bliss. Wow - 21 years. And what an amazing journey it has been. This year for Valentine's Day, my wonderful husband gave me a beautiful diamond necklace - a "Journey" necklace. It is a symbol of the journey we are on together and an affirmation that we are committed to walking alongside each other no matter what.
How I love this man. He makes me laugh so much! I just get the biggest kick out of his wit. It's fun to be married to someone who you never know what's going to come out of their mouth.
This week we were talking about a young couple we know who fight - a lot. And the wife shows little or no respect for her husband. And Don was telling me how thankful he is to our God for me. And I in turn am so thankful for him. We never ever call each other derogatory names, not allowed. I have so much respect for him as a person - his integrity, morals, ethics, his faith. I really really like who he is. I can't imagine walking this journey without him beside me. Sometimes it's been frustrating to each of us how the other handles stress or difficult situations. I know it was so hard for Don that I believed Kelly would not survive this last bout with cancer. He was still so hopeful she would beat it, still so hopeful she would survive a while longer, maybe until a cure or better treatment could be found. I was hopeful but I guess I just believed the docs when they said there was little they could do. And it was frustrating for both of us - yet I was thankful Don was hopeful, still upbeat, still positive. I know it must have been hard for him at times to not have me share his optimism. But as in so many situations, God has given us this wonderful balance. And even though we can get frustrated with each other, we can always talk about it and still appreciate each other. I am thankful Don kept his positive outlook, even right up to the last week. I'm sorry honey if I ever "dragged you down" but you can see how it was for me when I saw all the hard things in the hospital or clinic - all the allergies, drug reactions, blood pressure drops - hard to handle and be upbeat about it all. Yet we did just fine, didn't we? We still were grateful for the time we had and tried to make the best of it. Thank you Lord for your strength for it was not by our own.
Thank you for loving me always Don. Thank you for making me feel so loved and valued. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your hugs and tender kisses as we grieve our sweet Kelly. You understand my hurting heart as no one else does. A shared sorrow, a shared gratitude for such an amazing, difficult, rich journey. Wasn't she something? Wasn't it just amazing to be her parents? Aren't you so comforted to know we will be with her again.....that she's running and laughing and living large and healthier than ever - with our Jesus. That gets me through the days - really believing that.
Thank you Lord for giving me this amazing partner to walk alongside in this life. He is such a comfort to me. Thank you for the promise of eternity and the comfort of knowing my husband and I will be together, a brother and sister in Christ, for always. Thank you for 21 wonderful, happy years of marriage. Please could we have at least 21 more???