July 4, 2013
July 4th is our anniversary, so I’m dedicating this post to my lovely wife.
How To Stay Married For 44 Years
This is my wife (she’s the one holding the brush). Her name is Michele, but I have known her as Mikki since I was 13 years old.
We got married a few months after I turned 17. No one thought it would last. No one except us. Somehow, we knew it would.
The road wasn’t easy. It’s always tough when you start out in a deep hole—like having to quit high school in order to support the baby due in a few months. And growing up, growing apart, and then back together again over many years of trials and tribulations.
When people learn we were married so young, the inevitable question always comes up. “How did you make it work?”
Someone asked me that a few months ago. I give a quick, canned response: hard work. Or something to that effect.
Later that night I thought about what I said, and I was disappointed. It was a young person who had asked the question, and he seemed to be sincere. He might have been looking for an answer, and I should have taken more time to respond. After pondering the question, I arrived at the answer.
It’s All About Forgetting…
…is what I should have said.
“Forgetting?” he might have asked.
“Forgetting,” I’d have said.
- It’s about forgetting I see the wrinkles around her eyes, or the deep, tired furrows in her brow.
- It’s about forgetting I hear the worry in her voice with each new ache and pain either one of us have.
- It’s about forgetting her skin is rough and weathered from tending to the animals and working the farm in the Texas heat.
- It’s about forgetting I hear the raspy voice when she sings to our grandkids.
- It’s about forgetting I see the hurt in her eyes, put there by too much life.
- It’s about forgetting why she gets afraid if I fall, instead of laughing like she used to.
It isn’t all about forgetting, though. It’s also about…
- It’s about remembering how her eyes sparkled when she laughed, and that those wrinkles used to be laugh lines.
- It’s about remembering that worry in her voice grew out of 44 years of love.
- It’s remembering how excited I got touching her silky skin for the very first time.
- It’s remembering how thrilling it was to hear her voice on the phone.
- It’s remembering the innocence in her eyes that only years of life can take away.
- It’s remembering all the laughter, all the fun, and all the love that 44 years can bring.
So when I look at my wife, after 44 years…
This Is What I See
PS: If this gets enough shares and likes, I’ll probably get something special tonight. So, come on, help an old guy out.
Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of MURDER TAKES TIME, MURDER HAS CONSEQUENCES, and A BULLET FOR CARLOS and No Mistakes Resumes. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends.”