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Happy Anniversary Darling,
Can you believe it’s been four years? I look back on our wedding day with sweet memories: walking down the aisle and seeing your smiling face, hugging you after it was all over, breathing a sigh relief that I was in your arms, and laughing and talking as we drove to the hotel that night.
If someone would have told us that night all that we would have to face over the next four years together we probably would have laughed in their face or been very afraid. No one wants to think of their future being a hard road to travel on their wedding day. That day you are in love, and dreaming of a very bright future. But somehow I know that even if I had known ahead of time the trials we were going to face over the period of the next four years, I still would have chosen you to face them all with. You are my love and my rock and you are the ray of sunshine that helps me push through each and every day.
When I look back over the past four years I am amazed at how we’ve grown. I look at our personal selves, our marriage and our family and feel so blessed. We’ve come through so much and I know it’s only through the grace of God and the commitment we made to each other that we’ve gotten this far.
Our first year of marriage started off on a difficult journey. You and I spent our first month of marriage apart so that you could finish your training with the Air Force. I remember the phone calls and the letters and emails we wrote to each other during that time. The days flew by and soon we were starting a new life together in the state of Georgia. We started in a new state, a new life with the Air Force and a new life together. We didn’t know what we were getting into, we had never done any of this before or been on our own before, but we made it together.
We settled into life in our new apartment and things were quiet for awhile. When tragedy struck only six months later and I miscarried our first baby, you were there for me. You were there with me rejoicing in that pregnancy plus sign, and you were there when I could not figure out what was going wrong. You came to the hospital with me, fought for me over the medical mess-ups with our test results, and took care of me during our time of grief even when I pushed you away.
Several months later we found out I had Thyroid Disease. We were pregnant again, and this time rushing to find a specialist before we lost another baby. You drove with me the three hours to see the doctor, held my hand and never left my side. You were there through my entire pregnancy, coming to every appointment listening to the same heartbeat together for the first time. Laughing and smiling when when we found out we were having a boy, and sitting through each and every birthing class and learning right alongside me.
When it was time to have the baby, you painlessly spent every minute of the 24 hour labor by my side. I admit, at that point you probably weren’t sure what you had gotten yourself into, but that didn’t stop you from standing by me. You held our son first, you heard him cry, and you brought him to me. I remember both of us staring down at that little bundle unsure, but with intense love pouring out of our hearts.
You were there during my post-pregnancy period and my two weeks of bed rest. I look back and am so amazed at how you took over and did what you had to do. You took care of our son and you took care of me. You helped me dress, shower, walk down the stairs and did everything I couldn’t do. You fed our son, changed his diapers, and brought him to me to hold. You took us to multiple doctors appointments and we figured out together how to raise our little boy.
In our third year of marriage, we got through multiple car problems a TDY separation (our first separation with a child), and a deployment. That deployment could have broken a lot of marriages, but I believe it made ours stronger. We both fought through and we came out the victors in the end. Even though we were apart we got through the beginning of our son’s therapy schedules and meetings, holidays, anniversaries and birthdays away from each other and when your grandfather passed away we cried together on the phone, my heart breaking because you could not attend the funeral. When I finally laid eyes on you during your homecoming, it was like a huge weight was taken off of me. In that split second, I was home again because my home is you.
You were there for our family when in our reintegration period we went through multiple doctor’s visits and hospital procedures for our son. You waited with breath abating for word about our son’s condition while you were in training at ALS waiting to hear if our son did indeed have Autism. I remember that day calling you from the car. Holding it together just for you. Telling you and myself that everything was going to be ok that we were going to get through this no matter what was wrong with our son.
You have been there helping best you can to raise our son, teaching him, and helping him with his therapies and special needs. You have learned patience and wisdom and you have been the kind of father that not many men can live up to. You tell our son you love him, you change his diapers, you help feed and dress him and you play with him and spend time with him. You are a good father and I admire and respect you for that.
And now with our recent news about your heart… we may not know what is going on, we know that your upcoming deployment may be cancelled and we know that there may be a medical discharge from the military in your future and we are scared. But somehow we are doing this together. We are making it through one day at a time and I cannot imagine doing it with anyone but you. We will make it through this, as I know God has a plan that exceeds anything we have in mind.
We’ve been through a lot together you and I, and I’m sure if my future self was looking back on all the things that will happen over the next four or more years I know I would say the same: that there is no one else I would rather spend that time with than you. I love you. Thank you for standing by my side forever and always.