17 years ago this evening there were two men standing on the end of a pier at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. In the cold, dark December night, these two men were accompanied by a young couple, and it was at this time that the two men held hands, said some vows and exchanged wedding rings. The two witnesses watched with a smile, the moment was private, quiet and perfect. There were hugs, there were tears, there was beauty.
Even though it was in 2011 when New York State said we could be married, in reality, 17 years ago today I married my best friend. Many said it wouldn’t last, saying that we could never settle down. Others couldn’t figure out the union of a geeky farm boy from Upstate New York and a business leader originally from lower Bucks County. But the two that watched the small ceremony that night knew what we knew all along: some things are built to last. We had the honor of being there when the young couple built their reality. Life is wonderful that way.
Earl and I were recently talking about life and relationships and the like and both of us agreed on one thing: divorce has never crossed our mind. We might get angry in the moment, we might want to kill each other, I yell and he yells back, but divorce has never been an option for us. The “bad” (and it’s not really that bad when you think about it) is fleeting, and the good is forever and definitely outweighs everything else.
Right before the first time I told him that I loved him he said, “you better mean it if you’re going to say it”. When I got down on one knee at the top of Rocky Mountain in the Adirondacks and proposed to him he said, “you better mean it forever if you’re going to ask it.” And when I told him that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, I told him that it was forever. That has never changed. And the last 17 years have whizzed by in a flash. I still fall in love every day.
So, as I sit at the kitchen table typing this blog entry during my lunch hour, and I gaze at my husband, framed in a beautiful backdrop of a snowy landscape, courtesy of the patio door, I know that while this very moment is fleeting and will be superseded by another moment, I know that this journey is forever. I have been truly and utterly in love for over 17 years and I have no intention on stopping now.