Last night my husband and I were laying in bed feeling utterly worn and so so relieved the day had ended and we could rest our bones. The room was lit by a few candles, his iPad and my iPhone. Both of us side by side, browsing mindlessly online trying to quiet our minds. I ran across an article where I saw the date "August 14th" and I gasped out loud. "Honey! Guess what we forgot today?!?" It took him a while but when I whispered the date, he said "Oh no. Our anniversary."
We both forgot our wedding anniversary.
We laughed a bit and we talked about all the stressful things that happened over the last few days that led us to forgetting. Some really consuming and overwhelming stuff going on in our world. But I grew quiet before falling asleep and wondered if it was okay, truly okay that this very sacred day just slipped our minds. This morning I woke with a heaviness in my heart. Yes, we have a wonderfully intense child that requires all of our energy. Yes, some things are going on with us buying the house that feels unsettling. Yes, my sister and parents yesterday had to postpone their trip out here next week because my sister is not feeling up to traveling. So with all this in mind, as much as I wanted to be practical and gentle on us for forgetting, the romantic in me and the expectations that can sometimes come with being a romantic, was causing some heartache.
I had some time early this morning at a coffee shop to work and when I opened up my email, the first one I read was one sent to me from a dear friend. She had no idea it was our anniversary yesterday but we had been on her heart and she was missing us and this is part of what she wrote...
"i miss your sweet little family. i miss mornings in your home. and how your husband ADORES you. gosh. i think that was one of my favorite parts. watching him steal glances at you. and serve me well, because i was important to you. i don't know that i've ever been more honored."
....and tears fell down my cheeks right in the middle of a cafe. Sometimes when we are deep in the muck of worry and fear and expectation and it is hard to feel clear about the truth of what is in front of you, it is our dear safe circle around us that can gently take the veil off for us when we are unable to. Their witness, especially the ones that know you deep and have been in your home and walked with your family, can be the reminders, the mirrors that we need.
When I shared what happened with a few of my soul sisters, this is more of what I heard...
"I'd say laughing together comfortably on your anniversary speaks in the highest regard to your love and where you two are, together and as individuals. I'd say you guys have just grown into the new and didn't know it 'til last night! Nice anniversary gift!"
She made me laugh out loud alone in my car. Healing healing laughter. The kind that truly wakes you and keeps you present.
From another friend this morning...
"I think it means you're even more in love. You have reached that level of rare intimacy that knows there is so much more. You celebrate one another each and every day."
I chose to share these intimate details here because I wonder how many of us have gone through something like this and have allowed the forgetting of a date or romantic holiday to define in that moment the entirety of your relationship. And its important for me to keep it real in this space. I get so many sweet notes about how my relationship with my husband inspires them deep and they wish they had a love like us or they hope for a love like ours.
We do have a wonderful, timeless love...but we also forget anniversary dates and at times we lay near one another in bed with electronics rather than wrapped up in each others arms. There are many layers to us and its not all romantical but I am deeply in love with him and he with me.
A few weeks ago I was sitting face to face in the office of our new DAN Doctor sharing about our son and some new holistic treatment he can provide. After writing a bunch of notes, he stopped, looked at me intensely in the eye and said "You need to know how blessed you are that you and your husband are still together. After years of treating children on the spectrum, it is rare that couples stay married through the course and my wife and I were one of the unfortunate ones."
I cried on the way home thinking about what he said. Not tears of sadness but tears of celebration because really, this process and the process of (in)fertility just drew my husband and I together, not apart. That may not be societies idea of romance but it sure is ours.
Happy belated anniversary my love. I cannot imagine anyone else on this journey by my side but you. Remember that dance we watched on So You Think You Can Dance last night? Where they were falling into each other without looking back, with complete trust that they would be caught and held over and over again? That is you and me...a constant flow of this all day long. All. Day. Long. And that is enough. I love you and our nine married years together. We made a date this weekend! So proud of us.