(Dedicated to my husband at 25 years of marriage)
I love hearing people’s stories of who they are and how they got to where they are today. I love to hear about both the good and the bad and the challenges they may have faced along the way that makes them exactly the person they are today.
Stories are what makes each of us unique in our own way. You never know how your story might inspire someone else. Be real and true when it comes to telling your story. Do not inflate it or deflate it. I know some people like to exaggerate their stories for the sake of getting publicity or affirmation that they are good enough or did enough. Stay true to who you are: the good, the bad and the mediocre. Our stories are authentic if only told in truth because there is no one else who can live your story or tell your story like you, the author. Remember you are the hero of your own story.
I would like to tell our story to you now. The story of us.
My husband and I are married 25 years today. It is a milestone year for sure. Not just 25 years of routine daily chores like paying the bills, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, driving kids around town, mowing the lawn, fixing the house and folding the laundry. Although at times it may seem like that encompasses most of our days, it is 25 years of us, together, in it for the long haul, a for better or worse kind of love. It is 25 years of seeing each other at our best and seeing each other at our worst and still sticking together. It is the kind of marriage where, yes, we can get irritated at each other for silly things that can even ruin our entire day. We can also be super stubborn at times but we both would do anything when it comes to family and the two beautiful daughters we created along this journey.
It is 25 years of ups and downs. No white picket fences. No maids or servants who do all the work. A perfectly imperfect marriage. I believe we have an authentic marriage, a committed marriage and a faith-filled marriage. It is true that sometimes we can get so busy taking care of life that we forget to take care of our love. We didn’t get married so we could have a long list of chores. But like most marriages, it sometimes seems like that is what fills our days.
I got married because I was madly in-love and couldn’t imagine life without him. I got married because my heart skipped a beat every time I saw him. I couldn’t wait to tie the knot and build a life with this incredible person God had miraculously brought into my life.
This week reminds me of all the reasons I married my husband. And telling my story brings me back to that time before I realized that marriage is not an easy breezy let’s just tie the knot and see how things go kind of thing. It takes work, it takes strong faith, it takes dedication, it takes commitment above and beyond, sometimes 110% each. I can tell you that when I said I would marry my husband in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I knew I would never break that promise and that still is my truth 25 years later on to this day.
Our story began back in the late 1980’s when my husband (who is 5 years younger than I), worked on our family farm in upstate NY as a hired hand. I had been at college on and off for a good part of this duration when he made his routine trips back and forth on his 3-wheeler while working for my dad. His family lived just a couple miles from our farm. My dad once told me that he had been there looking for me and waiting for my arrival home from college. I thought he was the funniest, wittiest, smartest young man with an adorable baby face. a great laugh and a great smile, sort of like a younger brother to me. A pivotal moment for me was when my dad said to me, “Patrick would make you a good husband one day”. I about fell to the floor because he truly was like a little brother to me and I was already well into my 20’s. I guess you could say that I “robbed the cradle” as he was just in his late teens.
When I returned home after graduating from college, I fell into a lull where I was without a job, living at home with my parents, wondering where life would take me next. This was the silver lining part of my life that I didn’t see or understand until later on. I was stuck living at home with my parents, with no job and a big student loan lurking above me. We used to hang out during this period of time. We developed a friendship where we would ride the horses and pick sweet corn together, help with the haying and just hang out at the farm. I couldn’t get those words that my father said out of my head, “he would make you a good husband one day”! I must admit, father did know best!
We dated for 5 years, and while he went off to college, I landed a couple of different jobs along the way, moving out of town and eventually ending back together when we got married in October 1993. It wasn’t easy having a long distance relationship in two different parts of the state, in two difference phases of life, but it was well worth every challenge we had along the way and I wouldn’t change a thing. My job relocated us to Pennsylvania for our first year of marriage. It was a tough transition as we worked opposite shifts with no family around. Eventually his job moved us back north to New Hampshire, much closer to family where we raised our beautiful daughters and continue to live as they head off to college and enter adulthood.
My husband is a strong, authentic, hard working, faith-filled, handsome man filled with integrity and many talents. He would do anything for his family, for his friends and for God.
Our story continues on and we hope it inspires others, especially our daughters, to have faith that God, in His time, will bless them each with an incredible person who will help them to write the story of their lives.
I love him and I love us.
October 9, 1993 Our Wedding Day
October 9, 2018 -25 years married
And I am looking forward to growing old with him throughout the next 25 chapters.