Christmas came and went as well as New Year’s Day and while they are important days to me, there is one day that came and passed that I didn’t acknowledge that burns in my fingertips to be noticed. That day is my wedding anniversary. Three years ago on the 21st, Joe and I decided to drive to Vegas and ask a midget in a bad wig and too much makeup to integrate our programs together and create a new product – a better product – a life-long product called Marriage.
This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life and subsequently caused quite a bit of strain on our relationship from time to time. Jobs have been hard. The situation with my kids has been hard. Our living quarters have been hard. And when you seriously consider suicide as an option, you know that life in general is hard.
I think it’s safe to say I wouldn’t have made it through this past year without Joe. Even that might be being a bit too generous to my own abilities as I’m leaving out the part that on more than one occasion he’s had to pick me up by my bootstraps and assemble me back together using nothing as a guide except my own distant sighing.
And while I know that I’m more of a partner since the medications have kicked in and I won’t always be having this hard of a time and that there have been times when Joe has needed me in some of the same ways I’ve needed him, I am certainly looking forward to being on equal footing sometime soon.
One night, as we were driving to or fro and discussing one of the many subjects where I feel less than equal and we were getting into that dangerous territory where it’s no longer a discussion and more of a land mine situation where Joe can’t say anything right because my angst is so great, he said, ‘But, Leah, I know all of that – but I love you. I LOVE you. And I don’t think you are hearing me when I say it. I LOVE YOU.’ And something about the way he said it made me stop and pay attention to it. So I thought about it and realized that I wasn’t listening and when I just sat there for a minute and felt his love for me, the rest of everything kind of settled down for a bit and stopped pestering my brain.
Thanks for that, Joe. I feel so incredibly lucky to have you for my partner. Thanks for three years of marriage and five years of being together, that while hard and trying have alternately been wonderful and worth it and mostly have been full of love. Thanks so much for that. I promise to keep trying and keep keeping my body on so I can keep trying. I love you and I’m looking forward to what our 4th year brings to us.