Thirteen years ago today I became Mrs. Dickinson. I stood before a pastor and vowed that I would cleave to this man, my friend, until death us do part. I meant every word I said.
I still do.
I know it's cliche to say it, but the truth is I am amazed we're at 13 years. Where did it all go? We've had our ups, our downs, goods and bads; life has a way of wriggling into the cracks in the fortress you thought you built so well, doesn't it? What I love about our marriage is that the bad times and struggles drive us closer together rather than further apart. He is honestly my best friend; of course I need to lean on him when the going gets rough, and I consider it an honor that he feels the same for me.
We understand each other.
Of our 13 anniversaries thus far, we've had an eclectic variety of celebrations. We planned get aways for a few of them, but that was before kids, when there was extra money to be found in the budget to allow that. Since the girls have completed our family, we've included them on our day, making them a part of the celebration of it. We choose a fancy restaurant and all get dolled up for it. They know to be on their very best-of-the-bestest behavior, and off we go. Maybe it's not the uber romantic anniversaries of the past, but there is something sweet about celebrating a marriage that has created 2 precious people with those 2 people.
There was the year we moved on our anniversary. That just plain sucked, I must honestly say. I don't remember how it worked out that we planned such an undertaking on that special day, but it did. Never again. Ever.
This year we're in the midst of a crisis with one of our before-children cats, Zoe. She was diagnosed with diabetes last week and has been struggling since then. This is the topic of a whole other entry, Say It Ain't So, Zo. We've watched her continue to ebb and flow with the disease, desperately trying to figure out what treatment we could honestly afford. After much research, our decision today...TODAY...has been to put her down. Of course, it's Sunday and our vet is closed, and naturally tomorrow is the 4th Of July....leaving Tuesday as the Date.
I hate this choice, which was really not much of a choice to make at all, really. But she's not herself. She's weak, struggling to even get up the stairs. She's stuck down the basement all day and in the bathroom at night, unable to roam freely with her sister-cats because of accidents she's having. Looking in her eyes is like looking at someone who has fought a long hard battle and is ready to let go, but can't. She's so tired. So deeply, deeply, inhumanely tired.
And so it came to pass that I've spent the better part of our anniversary sobbing over the weakened form of our previously vigorous cat, (when, by the way, I had formerly decided NOT to shed any more tears over this), agonizing over a decision which feels more like some murderous plot, and feeling completely wracked with guilt over the whole entire thing.
Well, happy anniversary to us.
It's one of those times to cleave; and so I do. Dan is my friend, my comfort, my support, my encourager. He's standing beside me, attempting to calm his slightly neurotic wife, assuring me that this will be the best choice for our cat, and that we can get through it together.
Just like we always have.
As in, not alone.
I like that.
Today is a day to celebrate that. Our togetherness in the good times and in the bad; to draw close when the choices are plenty and easy, and when they are few and hard.
In that sense, it is a Happy Anniversary after all.