Last month Sam and I celebrated forty years of marriage. Forty seems more tender that thirty-nine somehow. Forty complete stories lived together that took root from our seemingly benign beginnings. Our first date. The gentle first kiss as snow fell around us. The way he looked at me as I walked down the aisle. A promotion that took us out of state. Champagne. An unexpected first pregnancy. And the first crisis. This was our beginning chapter.
All forty of our chapters are here for our keeping, preservation and honor. All the mere words that have defined our life – love, disability, illness, advocacy, joy, laughter, humor, understanding, death and grief…ultimately define our love.
Disability and illness led us to a greater understanding of each other and the world at large. Of how unimportant it was if the lawn got mowed or not. Gratitude took the form of things that could be touched and felt. Like a healthy baby girl and a seizure free day. Then the loss of a child, (our son) the ultimate test, if there is such a thing, as we fell together and separately. All while holding tight to our daughter.
Yesterday afternoon we watched The Blindside. I’d forgotten how good it was. Though it’s a football themed movie, it’s really about unconditional love, trust, family, faith and advocacy for who and what you believe in.
I think the biggest lesson Sam and I have learned from forty years of marriage is that no matter how happy, sad or questionable the day – every moment is an opportunity for growing love and having each other’s blindside.
And maybe it’s as simple as sprinkling the number 40 with cinnamon on your wife’s cappuccino, just because.