8 Years

Tomorrow is Joel and my 8th wedding anniversary, yet I still remember the very beginning like it was yesterday, even though it was 10 years ago.It was one of those weird Oklahoma weather days where it was 60 degrees in January so my Mom, sister and I went out for a walk around the neighborhood. My parents weren't the happiest of campers because I was about to up and move to New York the very next day (literally, I had just got the job that day, was hopping on a plane the next, and starting work 2 days later.) I was talking quickly about all of my plans thrilled to pieces that my dream was finally coming true and I was moving to NYC. My Mom who was very quiet finally spoke up with a request.

"Can you please just promise me one thing?"

"Sure, what?" I replied.

"Just please, please promise me you won't meet a boy there and get married?"

Meeting a NYC boy meant that most likely I would forever be an NYC girl and my non-presence would leave an aching gap in my families hearts. Oh who am I kidding-she just didn't want me to have NYC grand babies that would be so far away from her!

"Oh Mom puh-leeeease! That will SO not happen!!"

Off to New York I went and within 3 months I had met Joel! It started off pretty rocky with us. We had gone with mutual friends on a venture to the mall and I tried to tease him for making a beeline to Yankee Candle Company to buy some vanilla candles. He was not amused. Turns out the guy really likes his candles. My attempt at slight flirting had failed and now I just didn't like him at all. Then one day a group of us were hanging out watching a movie and he grabbed my hand and held it and the rest is history. We were engaged to be married 6 months later. The NYC boy eventually decided to join me on an adventure in moving back to my home state of Oklahoma and this is now home to us both. We were blessed enough that it went from him and me to a we that includes the worlds most precious baby boy. The first 5 years of our marriage were as normal as any couple's is-the latter 3 have been anything but. Through it all we have held on to each other tight because really, who else can understand what these last 3 years have been like except him and I? He's my best buddy in the whole world who makes me laugh endlessly-even now as he's in the hospital. And he loves our son so much it makes my heart explode. He's the most tender hearted person I've ever met and he lives to bless people and serve others. He's as humble as they come and always puts others before himself-even now. He thanks every nurse who takes care of him and the only time I see him cry is when he is worrying about how my son and I are doing without him around. When you vow to love someone in sickness and in health you could never imagine it would be quite like this. But yet anything that I have done for him he would do 100 times over for me. I love him more now than I did then and at the end of the day, there's no one else I'd rather spend all of my days with. I so badly miss how things were but am so hopeful for what's to be. I'm fortunate to have more years ahead with him walking side by side through whatever life brings us. And trust me, after that last few weeks, I am still in awe that I get that privilege. God is so good to have brought us together and to allow us more time to live this life as one.

1 Corinthians 13:7-On Love. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I love you Joel. Happy anniversary.