updated from last year's post (see paragraph 3, especially) because this has been the toughest year yet, but here we are, ready to tackle year 6 in a solidified bond.
5 years ago (7.26.08), I married my best friend. It sounds so cliche to say that and I most definitely hate cliches, but you must know, he truly was and still is, my best friend. Many that know the roots of our relationship know that we defied the odds; almost 11 years ago (in January) we met and I can say with confidence that no one surrounding us would imagine it leading to this: almost 11 years of togetherness (college sweethearts), 5 years of marriage, and 1 adorable toddler toot. To say we had a tumultuous start is the significant understatement of the year. B and I lived in a sea of gray, undefined in our status and layers of complication clouding the "relationship" between us. That time...oh that gut churning, completely annoying, baffling, infuriating, and nausea inflicting time (for all)... lasted a year before we were finally exclusive and finally a solid union (and a force to be reckoned with, I might add).
But see, you don't stay with someone for that long without overcoming many obstacles and little did we know, within 2 weeks of being exclusive, our first trial would test our relationship. That trial was a big trial...someone very close and very important to me and my heart passed away. Given the circumstances and who it was, any normal guy would run for the hills...especially in a relationship right out of the gate. Not Brad. HE is the reason that I am still here today. HE is the reason I found hope to continue life in this world, because truth be told, there were many a days I considered unfathomable things. But HE was my sunshine through it all and still remains to be today. I thank God for him. Everyday. And rightfully so. You see, you must know that that trial put me in the absolute darkest place I have ever been. It was beyond awful. I spiraled to a world of deep, deep depression and have never completely recovered, but it is because of my Braddy Beawr that I was able to come through it to this side and speak about it today. It wasn't easy, but we made it. I will never completely heal, but I am greatly and almost fully recovered and all shiny and good and I owe my happiness and fulfillment with life to him. Depending on which side of our loved ones you ask, some would say I was the one there for him as he was faced with battles and inner struggles of his own during that time...but it was HIM there for ME, and US there for each other. Many wives can idealize that their husbands are their knights in shining armor, but I can rightfully declare that mine actually is. He is my rock, and he is my saving grace and I do not know where I would be without him. We've stood the test of heartache, the test of surviving long distance for 3 1/2 years, the test of many other very trying endeavors, and the test of time. And through these tests, we've stood together, solidified in our union and solidified in our love for one another. We knew we had something great then and we're confident beyond a shadow of a doubt that we've got something incredibly amazing today.
However, beyond that...
This year has been our toughest yet; we've had to endure much heartache and many obstacles as a couple. I won't divulge into everything because goodness knows, it has been a lot...a whole, whole lot...and well, I'm proud of us for maintaining through it all. I'm proud of B for putting up with me. I'm not easy to love.
Parenthood, while truly amazing and blissful, brings on a whole new aspect to surviving the elements through the test of time as a married union. We fight or disagree about what to do about certain situations, but in the end, we have learned to discuss and work through together what is in the best interest of our child and our family. We may not have always been the pillar of character throughout our lives, but the main thing we stand firm within is that our child will have good character. We want him to love and accept all others; treating them fairly, with kindness, acceptance, and respect, regardless of any definition. Getting to that point may cause conflict between the two of us, but again, we are each others' rock and being solidified in our union as parents and role models for our son has been a learning process, bringing us closer together. We've also endured the heartache of losing our sweet baby (see full post by clicking link) which could've ruined our union by driving a wedge between us, or furthermore, bounced me back into the deep, dark hole in which I previously found myself as it was rough, it was tough, and it was gut-wrenching. I definitely thought I was on the road back there, there were many, maaaaanny hard days (still are, and am cognizant there always will be)...but because we had to lean on each other and come to terms with the reality of the matter, we grieved together and he helped build me back up just like he always has and always does.
So the meaning of this anniversary means so much more than just saying we've been married for 5 years now. While this may have been the toughest year yet of our marriage and our union, it further proves that we have stood the test of many of our life's obstacles and fully represents a love that is unbreakable and unshakable.
Happy Anniversary, to my adoring and awe-inspiring husband! In all honesty, YOU are my reason for happiness, my source of joy, my source of comfort, and my best friend. I love you more than words could ever adequately describe.