Thursday, March 27, 2014


Years go by in -- cliche alert! -- the blink of an eye. It was 15 years ago today that Erika and I exchanged vows in a gazebo, on a gorgeous spring afternoon beneath an arching blue sky.

With good health and a little luck we should wind up logging more than a half-century together here on Earth before taking our relationship up to Heaven, so perhaps 15 years is not much in the long run. But when you are 28, like I was that afternoon, 15 years seems like an eternity. When you are 28 it's hard to picture yourself at 43, and now at 43 I find myself wondering how I got from there to here so fast.

Still, when I look back and remember how much has happened and how much we have experienced since then, I realize that 15 years is not a short duration. During that span Erika has borne four children, two of whom are currently driving us nuts bringing us a wealth of joy, and two of whom died in the womb. During that time we have made friends who will remain friends for a lifetime, whose children are growing up with ours. We have seen other friends come brightly into our life and then quietly fade from it, some for reasons that are understandable and others for reasons that aren't.

We have felt the heartache that comes from the death of family and friends, some of whom were far too young to die. And on the other side of the coin, we have seen the light in our parents' eyes when they became grandparents.

To be sure, Erika and I have experienced difficulties over the last 15 years, but we have also experienced bliss and our bond has grown stronger. We have stood by each other's side in times of success and times of failure. Financially, we have been somewhat rich at times and strikingly poor at others.

We have walked beside the sea and hiked above timberline; strolled the streets of big cities from New York to San Diego; stood at the bases of waterfalls; skied the slopes of the High Sierra; kissed while walking through Key West, and gotten lost while walking through San Francisco.

I love raising Sarah together, even though she is a strong-willed challenge of a daughter and I dread the thought of her upcoming puberty.

I love raising Parker together, even when he decides to test boundaries. What could be better than watching the facial expressions of a two-year-old who sees the entire world as something new and exciting?  

Viewed as a balance sheet, these last 15 years for Erika and me are very much "in the black," if you will forgive me for using an accounting term. Yet I have faith that our best years lie ahead. And for some reason, while sitting here right now, what brings the biggest smile to my face is a memory from that night 15 years ago: After the reception was over, after we had made it to our hotel and done what newlyweds do, we sat at the table and talked about what a fun day it had been. We passed a bottle of wine back and forth, chugging straight from the bottle while scarfing down sausage balls that my Aunt Barbara had made for the reception. And we couldn't stop smiling.

I love you LOML. Incredibly, I love you even more than I did then. Happy Anniversary!

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