Today is Billy and my anniversary- eight years ago we were married on a beautiful fall day. And sometimes late at night we gaze at each other and scream- "WHAT WERE WE THINKING???"
In all seriousness and everyone who is married knows that there is NO such thing as a perfect marriage- it just doesn't exist. But what there is in marriage is your version of perfect. And Bill and I have worked out our perfect version of ying and yang. For whatever reason God saw to it that the eternal bachelor living alone in Florida met the naive little girl from suburban Colorado. We did meet on the internet, but not in the typical fashion one does on dating sites. It was in a chat room by pure chance, pure fate or divine intervention.
But Bill has always been there when I wasn't expecting him to be. I had other relationships in the past where I wasn't treated the way I thought a man should treat a woman, the way I saw my Father treat my Mother, with love and respect and LOTS of laughter. And then there was Billy.
We were engaged after only a month and he moved 1700 miles from warm Florida to freezing Colorado in January. Took a job where he had to commute 2 hours a day and came into my life at an extraordinarily bumpy time for me. But yet he just loved me. It took a few months of being engaged for me to realize that I really did want to marry this man. And I can tell you the exact moment it happened too. I have this beautiful full bred Australian Shepherd, Chase, with an extremely sensitive tummy! And he generally pukes often. One night I saw him clean up yet another Chase mess and then very sweetly sat on the couch and rubbed his tummy and talked to him. My heart melted! I had only had Chase about a year at that point, but I loved him like he was my child. Now Bill will deny this ever happened, but it did. He took me and this pukey dog because he knew how much I loved the dog. And that is Bill.
He always says that love is just a feeling and we all know feelings are fleeting. But to love someone is to do it out of your will. And that is what he has done. Our eight years have not been easy, we had Connor very fast and we dealt with his challenges. Then Bill had a heart attack, which was terrifying, but he recovered quickly and takes very good care of that heart of his. And I had my own issues over the years and we also dealt with infertility. Then we had Regan and she has just sparked up our whole life, mine, Bill's and Connor's. She is like the person we knew was missing had finally arrived.
Women always say they fall more in love with their husbands after watching them become fathers and that is certainly true for me. Connor loves Bill like the sun rises and sets with him and Bill does the same for Connor. He watches him struggle, which I know pains him, but he cries tears of joy when he triumphs. And with Punky, ahh little Princess Punky, she has him wrapped around her tiny little finger. She has from the moment she came into this world and he was the first one to hold her and the first one to feed her. And now when she sees him, she just lights up like a firefly! Bill gets up with her in the middle of the night, even though he gets up very early and still travels that hour to work downtown. He does that for me and our children, so that we can live in a safe place with good schools.
There are so many things I love about my husband, his knowledge of the Bible and his walk with Christ, but yet letting me develop my own walk and not pushing me, but teaching me when I ask. Realizing that I am younger than he is and haven't gone through all of my growing phases just yet. That he loves baseball so much that when we went to our first Rockies game he made me go early to watch batting practice- I didn't know they let you watch! And during that game (a game which I learned from my father) when the pitcher was struggling, I looked over to the bullpin and wondered out loud why they didn't have anyone warming up- he looked at me with amazement and said "I knew there was a reason I loved you!" That he is calm when I am not and that he will kill the spider for me. And that he makes me laugh like no one has ever been able to! And if you know me, you know how very important laughter is to me!
But the biggest and main reason I love William Howard so much is that during these eight years he has seen me at my ugliest and my most hurt and vulnerable and at my most angry and he has never, not once turned away and not looked at me with love in his eyes.
My best friend lost her husband quite suddenly a few weeks ago and she told me to always love him, always cherish him (even when he is annoying) and to remember how blessed I am to have such a man in my life. My heart aches for her, but at the same time it soars for me!
So happy anniversary babe! Love you love you, Melinda