It's my 16th wedding anniversary today.
I'm spending it alone. Well, not completely alone. Knox is at home, wheezing and sounding a bit like Darth Vader with allergies while Abbott tries to lick the snot bubbles out of his nose. Bruce is away at work. I haven't seen him in six weeks. He's not scheduled to be home until sometime in June.
I don't spend a lot of time writing about my marriage, other than sharing jokes or silliness, because really, who wants to read that stuff? Certainly not my husband, his relatives or my children. Privacy and boundaries are important, even if they make for really crappy writing material.
But the other day someone remarked on twitter that they didn't know how Bruce and I do it. How we stay married when we are never together. I gave a flip remark, because what else is twitter for other than to hone the fine art of sass, but I've been thinking of that question ever since.
There is no easy answer really. When it boils down to it, like most every other married couple I know, I just like him best. He suits me the way no other person does and hopefully he feels the same way.
Marriage isn't easy, ever, even under the best of circumstances. And my husband's and my marriage is no different. Add in the complications of marrying young, being poor, the death of a parent, the birth of a unexpectedly disabled child, the surprise death of said child, crappy extended family dynamics, a failed adoption attempt, a successful adoption attempt, teenagers, disabilities, health problems, every day stress and a job that takes you more than 600 kilometers away from your family for most of the year, well, marriage is tough.
I have spent more than seven years blogging about how I am no longer the person I used to be when our son Skjel was alive. How I have used my words to find myself and my place in this world.
But I have never mentioned how my husband has changed. How the man I married no longer exists. How could he? For everything I've been through, so has he. He's been beside me for more than half of our entire lives. He bears the same scars I do from all of the same hurts.
When I see my husband now, I don't see the optimistic idealistic boy with big dreams and great hopes I once married. I see a gentle spirited, patient, intelligent man who wears the same look of sorrow in his eyes that I have. It's easy to miss his hurt because he hides it behind a big smile and an easy laugh. But it's there. I see it.
I'm proud of the man the boy I married grew to become. And I'm so grateful he's been by my side through it all, even when we were at our lowest, teetering on the edge of total collapse. He's always been the one to yank us back to safety. He's never quit on us, when quitting would be the easiest thing to do.
So I'll happily spend our 16th anniversary alone, while trying to avoid getting slimed by Knox's snot bubbles. Because it doesn't matter to me how many days my husband and I spend apart. I know he'll always come home to us. To me.
He's the roots of our family, the one that anchors and supports us through it all.
Happy Anniversary Bruce. Come home soon.
There's poop waiting to be picked up and I don't want to do it.
I love you.