Friday, July 6, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my 11th anniversary. I'm not the most romantic guy, but I try not to be a schlub, either. So, I just got off the phone with the florist. Why can't daisies be the flower of love? *sigh* Really, I don't mind spending the money on roses, after all, my baby is worth a bajillion roses to me, so dropping a little bit of money isn't the issue. Amelia wouldn't mind if I got her roses or daisies or alstromerias. But the point of getting roses is not to swoon over the roses. If that were the case, horticulturists all over the world would be swooning everyday. The point of getting roses is for *other people* to see you getting roses. Be honest, isn't getting flowers at work all about the display of affection? You want your co-workers to stop by your desk and ask, "Wow, who sent the roses?" The sender intends the presentation to be the actual gift to you. It makes you the center of attention all day. Sending roses is a public declaration that you are loved by another.

Truth be told, you don't have to look far to see that Amelia and I love each other. I don't mean that we are disgustingly affectionate in public. I just think that if you spend much time with us at all, you'd be able to see it in how we treat each other. We're consistently kind and respectful. We like to hold hands and talk to each other. We're considerate of each other and usually try to put the other person first. We talk about how our days went while we cook dinner and try not to "fix" things, but just listen. We share a common sense of humor and punnery, and after 11 years, we can even guess where the other person is going with a joke. We absolutely adore our children and feel that they are a blessing every day. Even when we get frustrated with parenting, we lean on each other for support and hand off the parental duties to the parent best suited to handle the situation.

For 11 years, I've tried to best her in Boggle (and failed). For 11 years, we've bookmarked the other's place in a book and tried to see who would finish it first. For 11 years, we've laughed and played and struggled and endured and loved and cried and celebrated and despaired and carried and birthed and slept and woken up together.

When I got married, I was clueless about how much fuller and richer my life would be. I couldn't imagine being able to love any more than the love I had for Amelia. Then we had Mary Hannah and my heart expanded to make room for the love I had for her. Then we had Ethan and I was amazed to learn that I could fully love my wife, fully love my daughter and fully love my son. I was running at 300% love production for my family. Then we had Eleanor. It was around this time that I learned a truth about love: Because God is love and God is infinite, love is infinite. If you can comprehend the love that flows from God and allow it to be the model for the love in your life, you will find that unlike physical things, bound by physical laws of space and time, it is literally possible to give away all the love you have and at the same time get it back ten fold.
That is why I can say that I try every day to give Amelia all my love, knowing that she will return it to me, refined and focused and fuller and more robust. That is what we have together. A deep, abiding, powerful and ever increasing love for each other.
That is the type of love that makes it a bit easier to endure when we have our low moments. Yes, we do argue (rarely). Sometimes I'm moody and sometimes she's out of sorts. But by and large, our good moments not only outnumber our bad moments, but they outshine them as well. When I think back over 11 years, I have a lifetime of great memories and stories and happy feelings... and it's only been 11 years.

So, if roses are for other people to see how much you love your spouse, then this letter is, in kind, a way to shout to the world that I love this woman. I love Amelia. Unabashedly, completely and without reservation. She is my soul-mate, my muse, my help and my partner. She is the mother of our children and the keeper of my heart. She motivates me to be better. She humbles me with her generous spirit. She soothes me when I'm upset and feeds me when I'm hungry. She brushes off my compliments when I tell her how beautiful she is, but she likes to get dolled up and go out when we have the occasion. She completes me. Amelia is a gift from God to help me be.

So today, 11 years later, I just want to proclaim to the world what I said in front of the crowd at our wedding: I love Amelia. She is my lover, my friend, my wife.

1 comment:

Amelia said...

WOW! Do I ever have a lot to live up to. I know that I love you dearly. I know that you love me passionately. I know that I will love you forever. I also know that you will never beat me at Boggle :)
You are my best friend, my soul mate, my comfort, my challenge, my husband.
I love you more.