by Dianna Flett
I wanted to write you a letter today.
I wanted to tell you that I love you today just as I did 32 years ago; but I can’t.
I’m more grown up now and I realize that love was an immature love, a conditional love, and I didn’t know you. I love you in a different way than I did 32 years ago. I see you now. I really see you.
I love all of your strengths I’ve come to know, and all of your weaknesses I’ve come to embrace. I love the man; not just the image of the two of us being together. I understand now that for better or for worse is not the definition of moments in a marriage—it is the story of a marriage. The acceptance of “for better or for worse” as the way life unfolds and knowing you are there to face that life with me has given me an incredible sense of security.
I wanted to talk about everything I cannot wait to do with you when the children are gone and it is just you and me, but I can’t.
I don’t look forward to our children being gone. We have a life and a love that allows us to embrace all the things we want to do as a couple and with the boys; here and now. That doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to having time for just you and me … but I have no need to have that happen tomorrow, the next day, or anytime sooner than it is supposed to happen. I am very happy living these days now. I am very happy not to rush them, and I don’t want our family to be so far apart that we cannot get together and celebrate the love we’ve built.
It will always come back to us. I am sure.
I wanted to point to the life I envision for us as we get closer to our goals, but I can’t.
I’ve learned to not look too far, or yearn for time to pass.
The life I envisioned when I was young is here and now, not somewhere in the future. Every kiss in the morning, every smile in the afternoon, and every time we get through another event as a family only impresses upon me how much we have achieved.
I wanted to write about the perfection of our union and how absolutely easy this has all been, but as we both know, we are not perfect and this has not been easy.
We started a life together that was literally tested by being oceans apart. From those beginnings, we came to understand that marriage is hard work, and that love is a verb to be constantly acted upon to be real. I appreciate that at times when I forget that, you bring me back to those actions.
I appreciate that you demand a lot from me. I appreciate that we are partners in the marriage we have and that we are each other’s confidants. I know our secrets are safe with one another, and that love will always be a verb for us and acting in that verb makes it real.
I wanted to write you a letter today, but as it turns out, the letter has written itself. I hope you take it as my gift to you.
The adventure continues—for better or for worse.