Marriage is one of those wonderful, mystical, blendings that it's hard to find the words to describe. While planning our wedding I thought I knew what it meant to be married. I knew that I was committing to spend a lifetime with this man I loved. I knew that there would be hard times as well as joyful times. I knew that I had to accept him for exactly what he was at that moment in time and not think I could try to change him later.
I didn't know that our wholly complete, individual lives would tangle around each other like plant roots in the garden. I didn't know that we would weave ourselves so closely together that it would be hard to see the lines dividing us as individuals. I didn't know that when someone slapped him I would feel the hurt, and that when something made his day it would make mine as well. In the beginning I thought I knew what love was, but love and marriage are different than I ever imagined.
After he died his last client came to visit me. She brought a sympathy card and came in to talk with me for a while. Dave had really enjoyed working for this couple. The husband was in his nineties and didn't get out much. His wife was a bit younger and she's the one who came to visit. She told me how much they'd enjoyed getting to know Dave and how much they appreciated his perfectionism. And then, she told me that the real reason she wanted to talk with me was to tell me about how he spoke about me.
Apparently they weren't sure I had a name for the whole first week he worked at their house, "My Wife," was a phrase they heard a lot. One afternoon I called and he mentioned me by name when the phone rang. Otherwise they wouldn't have ever known if I had a name. She talked about the way he'd light up when speaking of the boys and telling stories about the things they get up to. Her visit was an amazing gift that I still cherish. I knew that Dave felt that way about us, but I still love hearing it from other people.
This would have been our tenth anniversary. I plan to celebrate it even though he's not here to join me. For nine years I was excited to be David Anderson's wife. Ten years down the road I'm still proud that he chose me to spend his life with. I wish our story could have ended differently (or at least fifty years later) but I will never regret a moment of being Mrs. David Anderson.
Dave was nothing I was looking for in a mate, but he ended up being everything I needed. He was so kind and gentle, soft spoken but with strong opinions, accepting and tolerant of all kinds of people and situations, intelligent but slow to speak. He was a very simple man in many ways. Money and things never held a lot of appeal for him. His wealth was his family. Early in our dating lives he told me he really wouldn't ever consider moving away from this area while his parents were still alive- especially if he had kids. He felt it was important to stay close to family and see each other often. I've been so grateful that he made that stand. Our children know our families well and we have so many memories of Dave that overlap others- it's a blessing my children will definitely be glad for when they're older and their own memories of Dave may not be as clear. Our shared memories bolster each other.
I'm trying to look at our anniversary as a joyful occasion. My marriage is one of the greatest blessings of my entire life. Without it I wouldn't have had this wonderful man and I wouldn't have the kids that I love more than my own life. So, today- let's celebrate! My Honey, I love you and I miss you but I'm sure glad you chose me and that I chose you!