Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. Another milestone to celebrate…another marker achieved. 14 years ago today I married my best friend and my soul mate. When you say the words “til death do us part” you never realize the meaning until you live them.
There is no way that I make it through the past 10 months without Helene by my side. She inspires me to do my best every day. She inspires me to fight, to respond and to show strength to our children that I may never know existed inside of me. When I want to cry (and there are days that I do want to cry) she reminds me that I have a long way to go. When she needs to cry (and there are days she needs to cry) its my job to pick her up. Our marriage has endured much more than we could ever imagine and yet the one constant is that we tackle it together.
I met her in a bar. The first thing I noticed was her smile. I knew right away I was going to marry her and I wasted no time making that happen. She says I never left her alone after our first date. Probably true – I had nothing else going on. But she was special. I knew it. I knew it from her smile. I knew that as long as I was near her that everything in my life was going to be all right – and I still feel that way today.
The very best days of my life have all been spent with Helene…and the very best days of my future will be spent with her as well.
I imagine that I can be a real ass lately. The combination of fatigue, steroid rage, drugs – everything – causes slight multiple personality disorder I am sure. My friend Rob the Judge came with me to treatment last Saturday. I was joking around with him and the nurse about what an asshole I am but my wife could never leave me. She’s locked in (at least for the next 5-7 years) – I mean what is she going to do? Leave a guy with Cancer? She would be the talk of the town. It would be a huge scandal! Her best bet is to wait the 5-7 and stick with me for the insurance money. Its much cleaner that way.
But Helene isn’t a quitter. She’s a fighter. We have had ups and we have had downs but the one consistent factor through 14 years of marriage is that I don’t think we could ever imagine a life without each other. Its not an option. We were destined to meet 14 years ago. We were destined to be married, to raise a family and destined to defeat the challenges life presents us so that we can relish the victories later on.
I married her for three reasons – her smile, her kindness and the fact that she didn’t throw like a girl – but I fell in love with her strength.
The nicest compliment I ever received was from my friend Roberto. He once said to me – “I don’t know anyone that loves his wife more than you love yours.” Its true. No one exists that can love his wife more than I love mine. I may not act as if that is the case all the time but its true. I could never live long enough to tell her how much I love her, how much I need her and how enamored I am with her as if it was the day we first met.
So here’s to 14 years past and 14 more ahead. The path isn’t always going to be straight – lets just hope its long!