I heard "our" song the other day. It was from 1996. The one-hit-wonder, Donna Lewis, released "I Love You Always Forever." I shook my head and smiled as I drove down the road. They play the weirdest things in Singapore sometimes!
I love you, always forever.
Near and far, close and together.
Everywhere I will be with you.
Everything I will do for you.
At 18 it had a different meaning than it does now. Back then it meant I would drive to visit you at the University of Kentucky on the weekends (while I attended Murray State University). Then at 22, it meant we would move, as newlyweds, to Cincinnati, Ohio. As the years passed, it meant moving together every 18 months to 3 years so that we could sleep in the same bed. You were offered high-travel jobs many times, but we opted to move together as a family to avoid those roles.
Now here we are in Singapore. I still love you, "always forever." The "near and far" part has never been more true for us. You've traveled more in one year than you have during our 19 years together. It's been challenging. There have been many times I've complained, "I didn't sign up for this!" But sometimes that just what marriage is: something you didn't sign up for. Spouses grow and change. Jobs change. Health changes. Love is a choice and a commitment. It is joy and pain and work and wonderful. It has evolved over the years from our teenage infatuation into the real deal.
I have fallen in love with you over and over. From the butterflies in my stomach during our first kiss on the sidewalk in front of your mom's house, to the pride in seeing you in your first suit as you went on that GE job interview, to the excitement of our honeymoon, to the surge of our joy watching you hold our newborn, to the tearful gratitude for your silence about the piles of dishes in the sink and the offer to clean up the sick baby's vomit, to the wonder of exploring the world together with our family.
I knew you when every hair on your head was still black (except for that one weird white one you've had all along), when the laugh lines around your eyes disappeared when you weren't smiling, when you owned (and used) all that fancy climbing gear, when you didn't know how to change a diaper.
We grew up together. And God-willing, we'll continue to grow together. Thank you for loving me back.
P.S. Thanks for planning and arranging our amazing anniversary trip! I'll never forget it!