It is a rarity in this world to be married this long. 30 plus years is an example that you set that I intend to follow. Happiness, and cooperation, and love governing every choice you make for years and years and years means more than just showing up and faking it until you make it.
I’m sure there was some of that- back in the early days. Back in the first ten years, when you spent seven of them apart. Back when wars and politics and a random assortment of nations security meant not seeing or speaking for days and weeks. Back when CNN was just becoming a thing, and you watched half horrified, half thrilled that you might catch a glimpse of the person you loved.
In all those years you’ve done a lot. You’ve raised children, you’ve built a family. You taught me to cook, to clean, to drink. How electrical and plumbing work (or don’t work, as those lessons usually begin). How to drive, how to hike, how to get a fish hook out of my sister. You’ve taught me putting your family first sometimes means not getting what you, or what they want, so everyone has what they need. You’ve taught me to hold my panic in, to ask for help, to admit my weaknesses and own my strengths. That dry feet are the most valuable thing you can have when everything comes to chaos, what to do in crisis, even if its just to come home to you. You taught me to think with others, of others, and for others if necessary.
But most of all, you taught me how to be in a family. How to bring the people who love you close, and to learn to love them. How to let go of the hurt of those who don’t love you. How to acknowledge that which the law will not, the marriage and union and parenting that paper cannot validate. And you taught me to do all of this freely, and carefully. Because my family is our family.
And for that, I am grateful.
XOXO Your Mouse