I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I promise you, I’m still here.
I can see the question in your face at times when you come home. I’m usually in the middle of a chore, dealing with a toddler tantrum, or caring for the baby. I’m focused on what needs to be done and am not patient to stop for a moment for a hug.
The question is there in your eyes.
It’s been almost 12 years since we vowed before God and family to love one another until death parted us. It seems like just yesterday and an eternity ago. I can barely remember the girl that stood before you.
I was bright-eyed, naïve, and excited for what I didn’t know was ahead of me. I didn’t have any idea where life was going to bring us, but I was confident we would never change.
Our love was that of the fairy tales.
They said how hard marriage was going to be. Inwardly, I laughed, knowing we would never become one of those statistics.
I was infatuated with you! We were care-free together, with a freedom that comes with the complete commitment marriage brings.
I smiled easily, laughed at your jokes, and hugged you every second I could. I pouted when you didn’t come home when you were supposed to.
We cooked together and shared countless meals with one another. We went to movies, grocery shopping, out to eat – whatever it was, we were inseparable.
Then something marvelously and frighteningly earth-shattering happened to me.
I became a mom.
Suddenly, life wasn’t just about the two of us anymore.
I had this incredibly huge responsibility placed upon me. I was in charge of a living, breathing, being that was wholly dependent on me – only me. He cried; I was the only one to make him content. It was he and I, every day, alone together.
I was scared, terrified but stubbornly sure I would figure this “mother” stuff out. I would be one of those confident, self-assured mothers who had it all together.
This baby cried, a lot! He wasn’t satisfied for long; he wasn’t content. But eventually he and I figured it out together. On our own, we formed a bond that was unmatched by anything.
And I grew up just a little bit more.
Then I lost a child.
If anything in this world is going to change you, it’s losing a part of you that belongs to no one else.
How could you understand? I didn’t expect you to! This was nothing that we had ever faced together in our 5.5 years of marriage. But you held me, listened to me and life went on. Yet, you would never see the tears I cried in the shower, on my pillow at night, or on our toddler’s shoulders as he hugged me throughout the day. It was my heartache that I hid so well and would take years to ease.
The years passed too quickly and God blessed us four more times in five years with additional children. Each time we brought home our blessing, that weight on me became heavier. Your work became more demanding, taking you away from home more often than not.
The demands grew harder. The physical pain of pregnancy and labor, post partum life, sleepless nights, crying toddlers, potty training, managing the house…the list grew bigger and I became more serious.
This mission of motherhood I’d been blessed with slowly changed me from the easy-going girl I was to a mother in charge of so many little beings.
I became serious and quiet, lost in my thoughts of everything that needed to be done. I changed.
But, Dear Husband, you are right there, by my side without fail.
You walk through the door every day with a smile.
You never fail to tell me how beautiful I am (even when I don’t believe it).
You purposefully stop me to give me a hug.
You try to ease the burden as best as you can, even if its just in a look.
You listen to my dreams, even when you don’t understand them.
You never forget to thank me for the work I do at home.
And amidst all the never-ending needs that must be met, you always put me first.
We don’t always get to sit down at the dinner table together. Some days we only see each other as one comes in and the other one goes. Date nights are fewer and farther in between.
The truth is this:
Love is not infatuation. It is the life-long commitment that never feels like a sacrifice. It’s the willingness to do anything to make life better for the other person. It’s the common goal of not just wanting a good marriage, but a GREAT one!
Love is not a fairy tale. It is an epic story for the history books that is more powerful than anything one fantasizes about.
Love is not about two people. It is three strands of cord that can’t be broken with God in the middle, holding us together through it all.
Dear Husband, you are my very best friend – I always just want to simply BE WITH YOU even if I don’t always say it.
While I don’t say it enough, I don’t want to travel this journey of life with anyone but you.
Am I the person you married? No, not so much anymore. Because you and our life together have made me better! WE have grown together, changed together, fought together, and have a family together. Part of me became part of you, creating this beautiful US.
So beneath the exhaustion, frustrating sighs, and distracted mind – I AM STILL HERE. I am here for you, because of you, and mostly WITH you.
Because before I was a mother, I was first YOURS. And I will always be, to the end of my days.
Dear Husband, thank you for being mine and choosing me, every day, to be yours.