Together we have made and raised two incredible daughters. We have lived in ten different houses in four different states. Our homes have been blessed with five different dogs (sorry, Bailey, but you weren't the first). a few rabbits, fish, a mouse or two, and an occasional bird that flew down the chimney and deposited soot all over the ceilings.
We have traveled the world and found places that call to us in that special way that certain locations do. We have settled in the desert for over 30 of our years together and learned to live with over-the-top heat all summer and Christmas time spent in shorts in the backyard. Betty still misses the vibrant green that is not part of the desert. Being so close to family instead of maple or oak trees has been a trade off she is willing to make, as long as we take occasional trips to see "real trees."
A few weeks or so ago we were watching a movie about a woman who was single, after many years of marriage. She was struggling with how the dating environment had changed and what she should do to meet new people. Pretty much simultaneously, we turned to each other to state that if one of us dies (a pretty safe bet), there would be no attempt, absolutely no interest, in finding another companion. This relationship has been so complete and satisfying that its power and memories would make searching for another quite pointless.
I can't think of anything else that could speak so fully to the power of a lasting relationship. Being alone would be preferable to being with someone else. Being alone would be the willing choice each of us would make. Our faith tells us we will be together again. Until that time, we would patiently wait and remember.
Before 2016 gets too much older I thought it a good time to declare my love for my wife and everything she has meant to me. Here's to a great year together, sweetie.