14 Years With You
Most days, if you were to ask me where I was 14 years ago today and what I was doing right now, well, the best response you’d get would probably be some kind of sarcastic response as to the absurdity of your request. Who remembers what happened 14 years ago? If you asked me what happened on this day when I was fourteen, I’d have nothing, maybe I watched re-runs of Happy Days.
Most of the time, we don’t remember such things. Sure, if we see a picture or share a story, it might spark a memory. Facebook is taking care of that for us now though, we won’t need to remember much for too much longer. But, Facebook didn’t exist 14 years ago.
But, this was no ordinary day. This was the day that I married my one true love. And the details of that day stick in my memory. I don’t remember everything, but I remember a lot. I remember rushing to get everything set up. I remember not having all the right parts of my tux. I remember pictures. I remember when I saw you for the first time in the sanctuary. I remember the epic ceremony and how my dad’s scripture reading turned into a sermonette. And I remember some of what he said. I remember Pastor Mike telling our stories. I remember the slideshow and singing you the song I wrote for you. You say I cried, but I don’t remember that. 😉 And I remember saying I do. (You said it too, if I recall.)
There are lots of memories since then too. Far to many to recall here. I remember when I got my first full-time pastoral job and when we bought our first house and got our first dog and had our first baby. I remember going to the symphony in Longview, and how we learned (after we got there) that people don’t dress up for the symphony in Longview. And I remember all the old ladies and their little flashlights looking at the program a couple of hundred times per song and how it seemed like we were surrounded by a bunch of gray-haired fireflies. I remember our one year anniversary, and how we ate the top part of our wedding cake. Which had been frozen for a year. Well, I ate some of it. And, I think it was more than we got on our wedding day.
I remember when we sold our first house and bought our next one, and how a couple of days after we moved it, it got up to 101 degrees inside the house and we were spraying the kids with a spray bottle in the living room because we didn’t have the blinds up yet.
I remember a lot of good things mixed in with some bad things. Good days and bad days. Easy days and hard days. About 5,113 days (counting leap year days). And you only spent 1,095 of those days throwing up while you were pregnant with our four kids.
When they came, everything changed. Our priorities changed. We changed. The way I drove changed – for a while.
And now, we’ve had kids longer than we were together when we didn’t. And we have less time with some of them than we’ve already had with them. They’ve blessed us and stressed us. But, in so many ways, they are us.
What I’m saying in all of this is that every single day with you has been a special day. It may not seem that way. It’s not like I’m overtly romantic or prone to major romantic gestures. And, it’s not like every day is disneyland. Just a lot of normal days. Thousands of them. Of course, normal keeps on changing.
But, isn’t that kind of the point of marriage? Some people think every day is supposed to be like a scene out of the notebook, and there’s a place for that. But, the point is a lifetime of togetherness right? And what is life if not normal.
But, what is normal?
Dictionary.com defines normal as: conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural. Or serving to establish a standard.
Perhaps normal is the wrong word. Because, day to day life with you has been anything but regular. And, by modern definitions, being with someone for 14 years isn’t all that normal anymore.
But, then again, maybe normal is the right word if we’re using the right definition. “Serving to establish a standard.” Not that we’re super awesome or anything. But, if this was the normal, and more people experienced this kind of normal when it came to being married, then maybe more people would stay married for longer and it would be more normal.
I know there are many who have been married for much longer. Your parents. My parents will be celebrating 50 years in aa little over a week. We’re only 13,140 days or so away from that. But for us, it’s everything. And everyday we add to that is another day of everything. Which is what you are. Everything. To me anyway. And all the days we’ve been together, all the days we’ll be together and this day are all the reasons I wanted a life with you.
So far, it’s been amazing. Perfect? No. But, amazing nonetheless. And if that last 14 have been any indication, the next 14 are going to be even better.
And who knows, we might just be able to set establish a new standard of what this whole married life thing is all about. Happy Anniversary Mrs. Lindner. I love you.