Happy anniversary isn’t quite right but sad anniversary sounds terrible, though accurate. Twenty two years ago today I was excitedly putting on my grandmother’s wedding dress, taking special care with my hair and makeup, donning the jewelry I’d chosen for the day. I am picturing the downstairs church bathroom where I got ready with its floral patterns and raspberry sherbet color scheme. Remembering walking into the sanctuary to just Scott so we could have a private moment enjoying that first.

Scott kept reminding me that the wedding was nice, but it was just a day and the best was yet to come. He was both right and wrong. It really is anything but just a day, and the best was yet to come. We had so much learning and growing to do. Some of it was excruciating and some just seemed to happen over time. Tempers cooling and communication and decision-making and intimacy and transparency. It all had to be learned. There were harsh words and hurt feelings, tears and roadblocks.

But what we always had was believing the best about each other, never assuming the other person was out to get you. Forgiveness. Teachabilty. Commitment to intimacy which meant dealing with the difficult. Laughter. Playfulness. Willingness to do hard things.

And these things produced fruit. I was known and loved. Protected and cherished. I learned a lot about myself. I grew and changed so much. I am grateful for the refining and strengthening that happened in our 21 years. I needed every bit of it to walk forward without him.

And walk forward I will, not in forgetfulness, but gratitude and hope.

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