18.

For those of you that were at a wedding 18 years ago today, you probably remember the groom sobbed continuously — like a baby.

For those of you that weren’t at that wedding, here’s something you should know.

That groom was me.

I was crying for one simple reason. Tears of joy, if you will, that there was someone in the world who picked me as the person she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.

That someone, of course, is Renee.

So here it is, our anniversary. Our 18th anniversary. And she’s not here. She and the kids are still in Florida, finishing up a visit with her family. Not sure what to give her for a present then. I’ve always got words and thoughts inside me. Always.

So, why not give those.

In some of our most challenging moments, I told Renee that I needed to work harder to make sure that she didn’t learn new things about me on this blog. In my darkest times, this was the place where I could come and just say anything. It still is. But you get my point. I hope.

This time, however, because Renee isn’t here on our actual anniversary, she will be learning something about me on this blog. The biggest thing she’ll be learning?

This is her present! :)

Well, not really. She’ll get that when she comes home.

No, what I hope she learns today is that there’s a simple reason why I was crying 18 years ago.

It’s mostly because I couldn’t believe I was in that situation. That someone would really ‘pick’ me.

I still have a hard time with it. Why?

Because she’s better than me. Always has been. Probably always will be.

You might find this hard to believe, but I’m not an easy person to live with. For a lot of reasons. I’m stubborn beyond all measure. I’m set in my ways (same thing?). I’m crazy opinionated. I believe my way is the right way. And, my biggest challenge, I’m not always open.

That’s why Renee did learn things here. Because I had a hard time opening up as much as I should. I don’t know why. But it’s true.

A few years ago, I went through the darkest part of my life — dealing with the loss of my brother and finally — truly — dealing with the loss of my father. This has been well documented here. But the person who dealt with this the most? Yeah, Renee.

She dealt with me pulling back. She dealt with my doubts. About a lot of things. And, all the while, she kept doing everything that she does that makes us better. And, by that, I mean makes me better.

And during that time, I didn’t make it easy on her. I didn’t make it easy on anyone. But especially her.

The best thing she did? She let me figure it out. And I did.

It took awhile. But I did.

And I’m better for it now. She’s better for it now. We’re better for it now.

That’s because the two of us figured out some things, too. And, more importantly, we figured them out together.

You might think I’m the most open person in the world. Sometimes I am. And sometimes I pull back — or hold back. I’m trying to change that.

But there has been change. Change for the better. I was in a dark place. And I’m not there anymore.

And that’s a good thing.

Because there’s someone here that let me figure that all out.

So that’s why I was crying 18 years ago.

Because I wasn’t sure I could live up to my end of the deal, like I knew she would live up to hers.

She deserves so much. Probably more than I can ever give her.

So I’m going to try harder.

Why?

Because she picked me.

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One Comment on “18.”

  1. Molly says:

    I’m reading this many months late, but I needed to tell you I really like this post. Even the strongest marriages have their weaknesses and I’m so glad to see you both going 18 years strong. We are still a decade plus away from where you are now, but I hope that we will continue to learn about each other every day. A very late happy anniversary to you both.


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