This column has been writing itself for 35 years.
On a Thursday morning, following a first year history class in college, a nervous young female blonde student left with an equally nervous male student on a first date. Before the day was over, they both new they were done looking.
My wife and I have now been sharing a life together for thirty-five years. And while we’ll both admit this ride contained plenty of potholes, bumps, and scrapes, we wouldn’t trade our time together for anything.
We’ve grown together – emotionally, as a family, and as friends. And we’ll also admit, one (me) required more work than the other. But the important thing is we’ve come out on the other side so close, so connected, we can’t imagine – or bear – to be apart.
The other day a friends said when traveling on business he can no longer get a good night’s sleep in a hotel room.
“I guess I’ve been married so long I can’t sleep without being next to my wife,” he said.
Yes, it gets like that. I know what he means. He’s not talking about the physical touch, but security of knowing the most important person in your life is nearby. It’s about knowing the last voice you hear before drifting off to sleep – and conversely the first in the morning – is from the person your heart is hopelessly intertwined.
This is the woman who took me from a teenager with an adolescent, carefree attitude about life, to an adult. And she had her work cut out for her. In college she drove me to get off my tail and go get a part-time job. And being in love, I did it. But only after she told me spit out my gum into her hand before walking into the interview.
There is no way I can ever express how much I love this woman. The gift of life, family, and friendship are impossible to every repay. And her steady, but gentle hand, in guiding me through life is without a doubt the biggest reason I am the person I am today.
We joke God put us together on a dare – saying “hey, watch this…this outta be fun to see what happens.”
And for what it is worth, we’re glad he did.
Somewhere along the line mortality slipped into my heart – and along with it the realization my time with my best friend, my wife, the love of my life, is likely less than the time we’ve already shared. And that weighs heavily on me.
This weekend I woke up, rolled over, and said those words to my wife. And with the remarkable wit she has shared with me over these years, she tried to put my angst at ease.
“Think about it, we’ll both be old, blind, deaf, and wrinkled. You won’t be missing much,” she said.
What she doesn’t know is that is those very moments – the ones just like this – is what I’ll miss the most.