On My Anniversary, to My Wife

"For seven years...."

"For SEVEN years...."

"FOR SEVEN years, Harold...."

Just as a child knows when his full given name comes from his flustered parent's mouth, a husband knows when his wife starts naming the time they've been married, he's in trouble.

Well, honey, for SEVEN YEARS tomorrow...

...you've stood by me.

...you've watched me break, and grow, and break again.

...you've watched me struggle, and doubt, and blame, and generally resist any form of responsibility or accountability.

...you've watched addictions and off-kilter brain chemistry steal me away from you.

And for SEVEN YEARS, you've remained.  And you've loved me, even when that 'love' is telling me no and getting me help and screaming right back at me louder until I'll listen.  

You've born me two beautiful girls, both in the most difficult way possible, sacrificing your body's long-term well-being in the process.

You've seen me fed something besides rice and hamburger helper.  

You are THE wonderful person God had for me in this life, and when I think I'm away from you physically or emotionally, I feel like half of me is gone, like a shell of myself.

So I'm glad tomorrow will be a day we'll be together.  No matter how much money we have, or what my job is, you are--and have always been--part of my REAL life.  Times are hard, and look to get harder.  Reading the back of The Book, we both see how this story ends.

There is, however, no one I'd like to face that future with, than you.

Love always,
Harold

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