Thirty years ago, on another warm, sunny Valentine's Day, family and friends gathered in Raleigh, NC to watch two highschool sweethearts get married and drive out into their life together. I only remember snatches of that day - mostly because I was so nervous. If I had it to do over, I would slow down the vows, and try harder to imprint on my faulty memory the moment I looked into her eyes and said I would indeed take her to be mine, and give her myself, as well.
Looking back at the photos, I certainly can understand why I was initially drawn to Dearest. And she has been a sensitive, warm, affectionate, smart, fascinating friend, companion, and lover to me through these last thirty years. I haven't got a single thing to complain about - and I have a great deal to rejoice over. And, to me, she still looks the same, combined with the beautiful way she looks now.
Frankly, my life sometimes seems like a fantasy, like I was living in some fairy tale place, sharing these days and years with her and with our children. I know it hasn't all been easy, and there have been patches that were difficult. We're certainly not perfect. But as the years have passed I feel that the imperfections are part of the charm, the grace, of our connection. I find myself smiling inside and out about all sorts of things.
She continues to tickle me, inspire me, tease me, and excite me. I've had my wish - to be married to the girl of my dreams.
Happy Anniversary, Dearest. I'm looking forward to the next 30 years.