Forty years is a long time.
Oddly, I remember turning forty like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t. And now, somehow I’ve been married for forty years. Which is roughly ten years less than fifty. Which is roughly a polite way of saying old.
I could say that the years have flown by, which is true. But some of the years were excruciatingly difficult and seemed to crawl at a snail’s pace as they flew by. We had been married just four years when I had a brain hemorrhage during my daughter’s early birth. Doug was working full-time in the neonatal ICU, going to school full-time, and somehow dealing with my catastrophic illness, a scared and belligerent three-year-old son who missed his mom and a newborn daughter.
During my lengthy recovery, I remember hearing Doug come home from a 12-hr shift at the hospital, murmuring something to my caregivers as he sent them home. He kissed me gently on the cheek and tucked the blankets snugly over my shoulders. He spent some time with the kids, pouring cereal for Matt while snuggling the baby. Tears filled my eyes when I heard the clinking of dishes being washed by hand in our old, tiny kitchen. Quietly, he carried on.
Maybe those trying early years prepared us for the future as we worked side by side to regain our footing and raise two kids who have turned out to be pretty awesome adults. We have six grandchildren who make everyone else’s grandchildren pale in comparison.
We have been through pain and loss, enjoyed great belly laughs, made wonderful and lifelong friends, and have been blessed with some great dogs and cats. We have learned the importance of commitment and the value of patience. Well, Doug has learned patience. I’m still working on it.
I have now been married for forty years. No one knows what the future brings, but this much is true: Doug will NOT have a mustache!
Happy 40th, Honey. Here's to another 40!