“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.” – Maya Angelou
Today I want to tell you a very special story. Because Wednesday was a very special day. It was my 16th anniversary with the love of my life, Jessica. And because the world is crazy and scary right now, I have scrapped my original considerately short post and replaced it with this somewhat lengthy story, which was a bit delayed by my foolish lack of maintenance to our personal photo library (moral of the story: keep your software updated, folks).
Earlier this week, Jessica and I were in the car sitting at a stop light and I looked over at her and told her, “We’ve been together for 16 years this week, and not only do I still like you and love you, but I’m still in love with you. You’re still my favorite person in the world.” And it’s true. I still think she’s the most beautiful person in the world, outside and inside. I still think she’s the kindest, most gentle soul I’ve ever known. And I still get all fuzzy inside when she smiles at me. She’s still my best friend.
And so, because the world is on fire right now and every day scares me more than the day before, I want to put our story out here. Because there are people who want our existence to be illegal, I want to put our story out here. Because there are people who want the right to refuse to sell us a meal or refuse to offer services to us based on who they imagine we are, I want to put our story out here. Because I refuse to let a small number of sick people write my story and make my existence merely about a physical act, I want to put our story out here. Because our life is so many more things than you imagine when you hear us called ‘lesbians’, I want to put our story out here.
Our story begins in 1990, when we met at college. She was 18 and I was 19. We were both dating other people who would become long term relationships, but Jessica and I were immediately best friends. We have been there for each other over the years and for many milestones – marriage, births, first homes, and eventually, an ugly break-up and a divorce. Jessica is the one person in my life who has been the most constant and true. She’s the kind of person who lifts you up. She does it for everyone around her, which is why everyone who meets her adores her.
The pictures in the slideshows below tell the story of our life together so far. There’s a couple of photos of what we looked like when we met. There’s a few from our years of friendship. And then there’s all the birthday parties, holidays, school plays, karate practices, soccer games, summer camps, first days of school, first bicycles, pets, home renovations, missing baby teeth, visits with grandparents, award ceremonies, band concerts, choir concerts, camping trips, backpacking trips, road trips, and just general goofing off that has been our life together for the past 16 years. In that time, we have lost 2 adored pets, acquired 3 more pets, sent two daughters to college, moved twice, bought one house, bought 3 cars, been laid off from two jobs, built a successful business, and suffered the indescribable heartbreak of losing several beloved family members.
We have been happy. We have been sad. We have fought. We have laughed together. We have cried together. We have celebrated together. We have grieved together. We have nearly broken up. And we have worked on our problems. Then one day just a couple of years ago, we were finally allowed to be married, so we got married.
Our life together is everything. I love my wife more than words or photos can possibly describe.
Today I celebrate our life together. Happy (late) anniversary, my sweet angel.
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