Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Letter to My Husband

Dear Shannon, It’s hard to believe that our 12th anniversary is Sunday. Counting the year we dated, we have been a couple for 13 years. Has it really been 13 years since you first asked me out? They say time flies when you’re having fun. They’re right! In honor of our anniversary, I’d like to share the things I remember from each of our years together. 1. The night you proposed. December 16, 1994. I remember opening the door to my apartment and seeing the bouquet of red roses you were holding. I knew something big was going to happen that night. We went to Alex’s restaurant, and I remember that it was busy, but the voices of the other diners faded into the background as you captivated my attention. We left the restaurant and walked hand-in-hand through the streets of downtown, gazing at the Christmas lights and reflecting on the 6 months we had dated. We ended up at the park, where you proposed to me on the bridge where we had talked on our first date. I almost cried then, and I’m almost in tears now, as I remember. 2. After we got married, we moved. We didn’t know anyone, and we were trying to figure out what church to attend the next day. You wanted one church, and I wanted another. We had a big fight. Later you assured me that you would never make me go to a church that I didn’t like. You asked me to write down the things that mattered to me in a church, and I listed them off. The next day we went to the church that you chose, and one by one I had to mentally cross things off my list. The church you chose had every single quality that I was looking for. God taught me a little lesson on submission that day. We didn’t have to have that big fight. Hopefully you’ll agree I’ve gotten a little more submissive over the years. 3. On June 4, 1997 we found out we were expecting our first child. We had been trying for quite some time. I had been on fertility drugs for 6 months, and we were beginning to wonder if we would ever be able to have children. You and everyone else suspected that I might be pregnant. I was sure I wasn’t. You shouldn’t have cramps when you’re pregnant, right? That day after work, I stopped by Rite-Aid on a whim and bought a pregnancy test. I went home and took it. A plus. Pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at the clock and realized I had an hour before you came home from work. I rushed to the mall and bought a baby name book then rushed home to wrap it. When you came in the door, I gave you the present “just because”. You opened it and knew. We were expecting our first baby. 4. I still remember every detail of the day Liz was born. I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning. No change. I begged the doctor to induce. He said he would the next day. I called everyone that afternoon. My friends warned me that being induced wasn’t fun. They told me they’d pray I’d go into labor on my own. I didn’t care. I was going to have a baby. To celebrate, I made a nice lasagna dinner for our last night home alone together. As I took my last bite, I got hit with a pain that made me stand right up. And my water broke. I didn’t want to go to the hospital right away. You thought we should go. We went. There were no rooms immediately available at the hospital, so we sat for an hour in the doctor’s lounge. I remember it was terribly uncomfortable. When we finally moved to our room, things progressed quickly. I begged for drugs, but when the anesthesiologist got there, it was time to push. The doctor arrived just in time, and Liz was born as he was putting his gloves on. She had the loudest cry. I remember staying awake half the night, looking at her and then you asleep on the pull out sofa, marveling at the fact that we were the parents of this beautiful baby girl. 5. That following year my parents divorced. That shook my world like nothing ever had before. I like statistics, and statistics say that when two people from divorced families marry, the odds are their marriage won’t last. I pulled back. Through it all, you never gave up on me. I love you for that. 6. 1999-2000 brought many more months of dealing with the stresses of infertility. More doctors’ appointments, more fertility drugs, and the endless cycle of highs and lows that accompany the hope and disappointment each month brought. Again, you stood with me through all of this. I know we had our disagreements as to when to call it quits, but we always worked through it, with the hope that our family would someday grow. 7. The year 2001 is the year we will (hopefully) always refer to as the worst year of our lives. Your mom had quadruple bypass surgery, my dad had a heart attack, my mom got diagnosed with leukemia, and your step-mom went into the hospital and would pass away early in 2002. But perhaps the most devastating event was my miscarriage. After two years of trying to get pregnant, we were excited to find out we were expecting a baby. Our excitement turned to great sorrow, when we lost the baby at 10 weeks. The questions began again. Would we ever have more children? How much pain was too much? Did we somehow lose favor with God? It was a tough year for sure. I remember you weathered it well, though. And you asked me a question I would never forget. You asked me why we were any better than everyone else that we should be spared suffering. And the answer, of course, is that we are not better than anyone else. Since then I have come to see suffering in a whole new light. It is a part of life and something God uses to mature our faith. And boy did we both mature that year. 8. After my mom was diagnosed with leukemia, we decided to move closer to her. You got a job rather quickly, but the sale of our house took a while. For several months, you made the 90 minute commute almost daily, so you could see Liz and I every evening, if only for a short time. I appreciated your willingness to sacrifice so much for us, and I became aware of just how much I missed you when you weren’t around. Those were some lonely times for me. I was glad when we were finally able to move. 9. Finally, in the fall of 2002 we welcomed our son Sam into the world. The pain of three years of infertility evaporated as we held him for the first time. I still remember his first cries. They sounded like the bleating of a billy-goat. We quickly settled in to our roles as parents to a daughter and a son. And for the first time, our family seemed complete. 10. When Sam was little over a year old, you lost your job. I still remember the look on your face as you walked in the door early that winter afternoon. You looked defeated. I think after those first hours of shock, though, we learned to confidently rely on God to meet our needs. And that is exactly what He did. Right before our money ran out, you got another job. We always had everything we needed. And through another trial, we learned to trust God even more. 11. One of my favorite memories is your 40th birthday. It was a Sunday, and boy did I get you good! I convinced you that Sam was sick and needed to stay home from church that day. You were to take Liz to church and then to a party at the park for her friend. What you didn’t know is that the party was for you. After you left with Liz, Sam and I headed to the park to put together a barbeque birthday party for you. All of our friends managed to get there before you did, and I will never forget the look of surprise on your face, as it dawned on you what I had done. Priceless. 12. Our 12th year together was a fairly easy year. We enjoyed a rather large increase in our income, we were healthy, and everything was going well. It was nice to be able to take a break from our trials and just enjoy each other. It was also a good lesson that you should never get too comfortable in life, because… 13. The trials will always come. This last year of our marriage has been another challenging one. Your father died, which ushered us into a new phase of life. It’s hard to say goodbye, and I’m glad I could support you through that difficult time. You lost the good-paying-but-highly-stressful job you’d had for the last 3 years. And you’re embarking on a new adventure with a new job. The last 13 years have been one adventure after another. We’ve been to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. One thing I can say for sure is that there is nobody else with whom I would rather have shared these experiences. I’m looking forward to adding to this list of memories in the years to come. I hope that by the time it’s all said and done, and God calls one or both of us home, our list is a very long one. And I hope we can look back and see how much we have both grown as a couple. Happy Anniversary, honey! Love Always, Lynnae Related Tags:

4 comments:

Megan said...

That was beautiful. Made me cry!

Deena said...

You've made me cry twice today...once here, and when you stopped by my blog and helped me...love you, and thank you!!

carrie said...

Oh Girl....I'm bawling...Not fair!!! Shannon, you've got a great wife!!!

Kandy Seaton Smith said...

You amaze me Lynnae...*hugs*