Today marks 11 years since my honey and I said "I do" in the dog food aisle at a Safeway grocery store on 10th Street in downtown Portland that is no longer even there. It was December 9, 1997, when I said to him, "So, is this thing going to work out for us in the long term or not"? I can be so direct at times. He was ending a not-so-pretty 12-year relationship and I had been divorced out of a 7-year marriage earlier in the year. There were many who stamped our newfound relationship "rebound." And, for all we knew, it was. Who knows at the beginning of something what it really is or what it will look like years from now? Last year I had this to say about my love. And two years ago, it were these words that I penned.
I have pushed him to the limit at times, and he the same. I've asked him to do things that he would probably never have considered had it not been me asking. I've made comments to him that were totally inappropriate and even hurtful. He still chose to love me. He overlooks my many faults and shores up the weak spots in my life. He has seen me at my worst and my best. He has certainly seen me lose my temper. He's heard harsh emotions and flippant remarks. He has cried himself to sleep because of me. Even when I'm flippant or my heart becomes hard, he still understands...at his own expense, many times, I'm afraid. That kills me. Sometimes to see the look of pain in his own eyes.....he's such a caring soul....way down deep sort of soul. He does things that I don't like to do hapilly....without comment or rebuke. He takes the dog out repeatedly because he knows how much I can't stand waiting, waiting, waiting, for a pee and poop. And last night we watched Great Performances on PBS -- David Foster, The Hit Man. If you don't know of David, I'll bet you actually do....he's done music for everyone for many years. And throughout the evening, my eyes kept on filling up with tears at the love I have for my man. Over and over.....he kept saying to me, "again?" Yes, again. And I imagine my tears will continue. That's just me. The end of the concert was Josh Groban singing You Raise Me Up. And that did it. The well opened up and spewed water out of my eyes....down my cheeks and nearly onto the pooch.
He holds a place in my life much like a very valuable and essential old pair of good shoes. Comfortable, warm, reliable, always there, takes me any place I'd like to go, stylish, functional, and horribly handsome. He's not so sure he likes this analogy. But I do. (And you already know about my foot and shoe fetish, so that should come as no surprise!). I often (always?) look at people's shoes and wonder the many journeys that they carry people. Here and there, state to state, and even around the globe. They go to the gym, to work, to church and club and party. They are often not thought about because we know they'll always be there. And when we get home, they go into the closet, tossed into the darkness. As much as I hate to admit it, we take them for granted...much like I do my man from time to time. But he's always there. In my waking and my lying down. In my rising up and my rest. We've gone through many, many difficult times in our eleven years. Not necessarily interpersonal relationship troubles between the two of us (although there have been several), but pressures and obligations from the outside. He's grown so much since I met him. He's changed, I've changed. He's grown up, me too. Side by side.
My dear, no matter the road, I will always be there for you. I cannot be everything to you -- nor you to me. But the position you hold in my life is immeasurable beyond belief. The journey definitely changes, the view, the sounds, the people passing us along the road. But it's no worry to us. We rest in the solidarity of one another. And at the end of the day, like the shoes, I will be there for you. To carry you wherever you want to go much like you carry me frequently. Because I love you and can't imagine spending my days with anyone else. Happy 96,096 hours....that's 11 years to you. Hell, we haven't even reached a 100,000 hours yet.....we've got a long way to go!