It seems like just yesterday that I looked down that church aisle at an empty, sunlit doorway. My insides were a jumble of nerves and I was barely holding myself together. As I stared at this empty threshold, I was knocked breathless as a vision appeared silhouetted by the afternoon sun! The light radiated off her dress and seemed to illuminate the entire church. Then I saw her staring at me, an aire of assured confidence radiating from every fiber of her being as if to exclaim to all, her certainty of the moral righteousness that this union would be! That one look chased the turmoil from me as her mere presence put me at peace. Her poise, providing me the anchor to steady my angst, giving me strength. The strength that I would need from that point forward. That day was Saturday, August 13, 1988. Twenty six years ago today.
She's led us through hardship, debt, cancer and now ALS. She's provided me with a family and has made me a better father. All due to her inner fortitude.
I have made mistakes! At times I've been a fool, an oaf, a failure and a bastard to say the least. Through all of this she stood by my side sometimes even a bit out front. She is quick to point out that she is no saint but I know she has the patience of one!
On our twenty sixth anniversary, there is joy but it is so bittersweet knowing that, most likely, another anniversary will not come to pass. A sadness looms over us as our time together will fall very short of expected duration.
My gift for my amazing wife on this day is this. Take heart my sweet, for in your moment of despair it may seem that your reserves are giving out and that all hope is lost. But you carry an inner strength that few possess. One which will carry you to a new path. A path that I hope will lead you to even happier times than we have shared. A path that will lead you to me again.
I wrote the following prose and read it as part of our renewal of vows for our twenty fifth anniversary celebration. It's still how I feel.
We once embraced so tight
until we could breath no longer
Without a second thought
I would hold you in my grasp
calming your anguish
Giving my love only to you!
My arms now fail me
A simple action stolen from us
When your needs are seen
My limbs are lacking
My heart bursts at its core
How I miss embracing you
Unable to give you solace
I have become a taker
Incapable of this physical gift
Take heart my dear
my mind clutches you tightly
in your times of need
Though I cannot deliver
lung crushing hugs any longer
Just lay your head upon my chest
and listen to my heart perform the Aria
That only we both know
So today, August 13, 2014, I celebrate the single, greatest day of my life! Followed closely by that day, so many years ago, when I first noticed the little girl from India.