Happy Anniversary to me,
Happy Anniversary to me,
Happy Anniversary to Kario,
Happy Anniversary to me! (and Bubba)
Yup, it's that time of year again. It was on February 26th, fourteen years ago that Bubba and I tied the knot in a small winery in the Willamette Valley (before they were even known for their wine) on a cold, rainy day in front of a room packed with college friends and family from all over Oregon and Washington and California. The actual ceremony lasted about five minutes and the reception lasted for hours afterwards. What fun!
Not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars for this man I get to share my life with. We started out as friends (well, okay, he lusted after me and I was his calculus tutor in college and found it endlessly amusing to turn him down over and over again in the friendliest way). After a year or so of getting to know each other it suddenly occurred to me that he was the complete antithesis of any guy I had ever dated or could ever see myself dating and maybe that was the sole reason I OUGHT to go out on a date with him.
You see, Bubba came from a small town cattle ranch. His parents were (and are) not only still married to each other, but they actually liked each other. He enjoyed spending time with his older brother and sister and actually sought out their opinions on his life. He was smart but didn't flaunt it. He was athletic but not overly so. He had no idea what he was going to do with his life and it didn't bother him one bit because he had confidence that he would eventually figure it out when he needed to. He was mischevious and even though college was supposed to be a 'serious' time in our lives, he knew how to have fun. Whether it was playing harmless pranks on fellow students or spending a day riding his mountain bike down the steepest hills he could find with some of the daredevils he hung out with, he did it with zest. Everyone on campus knew him by his smile and easy attitude and students and their parents liked him (although both for vastly different reasons).
He was the kind of guy who could deliver really bad news to you in such a way that you would leave thanking him. He was the only person I had ever met who was absolutely 100% comfortable in his own skin, flaws and all. He was from another universe entirely.
He has an uncanny ability to distill things down to their core importance. He has never failed to surprise me with his capacity for empathy and love, laughter and willingness to take on new challenges. I have traveled with him, broken down in his arms, laughed until my stomach ached, and held him as he suffered mystery ailments. I have been away from him for long periods of time, aching to share the funny joke I just heard or the crazy thing one of our children just did. I have never been more content than to sit next to him on the couch, our legs intertwined, each of us engrossed in our own books just sharing space.
We are apart today out of necessity, but I feel him here. He is off chasing his dream and I am here anchoring things for him just like he does for me when I need to go. I used to feel guilty when I realized that I could survive without him here for long stretches of time. Now I realize that that is the ultimate compliment. I can survive without him. But I don't want to. Having him in my life is one of my greatest treasures. I love you, Bubba! Here's to spending a few more decades together at the very least!