30 years is a long time for anything. My God, I can’t even believe I’m old enough to remember 30 years worth of stuff! But 30 years it is. 30 years of truths, filled with love, heartache, adventure, poverty, sorrow, fun, boredom, humor, adoption, childbirth, more love, frustration, sickness, insecurity, joy, pain, raising children, more love, and trust. Love and trust, the bases for all that lasts. Love that exists even through moments of distance and pain. Trust that all of the PITA moments are worth it. Trust that each of you will do the right thing. Trust that love exists. Trust that in the end, this is the soul you would turn to in your happiest moments and with your greatest sorrows. Face to face with a bear, I most likely wouldn’t offer my sweet husband up as decoy. That’s true love.
For years on our anniversary, we’ve chosen to forego gifts and instead have a nice dinner and perhaps buy a piece of furniture or go on a trip. 30 years, though, is a big one, so the other day I asked my Stephen if we were indeed foregoing the gift-giving this year. Much to my surprise, he said no. He said he couldn’t pass up 30 years without giving me a gift. And this unlikely response got me to thinking about gifts, particularly gifts within a marriage. I don’t remember all of them. Honestly, I don’t really remember too many at all, but those I remember are etched in my memory: The drum set, a full drum kit we set up in a spare bedroom, then a living room, then a hallway and finally a closet before exchanging it with a relative for electrical services; The parrotlet, Winston, who shredded the room divider between our kitchen and dining area in our very first apartment, squawked at green bottles and generally drove me insane before dying in our arms as we tried to give him antibiotics one night. My sweet husband with these gifts gave me the amazing gift of listening. He listened when I told him I’d always wanted to learn to play the drums. He listened when I said I thought it would be cool to have a parrotlet. These were early on, before he got to know me well and fully realize that I say a lot of things that actually have no basis in reality. Wishful thinking, but not really too wishful.
30 years is a long time, and it’s been wonderful, and my Stevie is wonderful, and I truly hope for 30 more.