Nine years ago I arrived to pick you up for our first date, and upon knocking I heard your roommates break into hysterical laughter. That reaction could only mean one of two things, I thought. You were either really excited for our date (as in “OMG! He’s here! Go get him, girlfriend!”), or you were dreading it big time (as in “Ha! He’s here. Have a wonderful time, Heather. Ha, ha, ha!”) Luckily for me it was more of the former than the latter, and after a long, free flowing conversation, we had our first kiss on your couch while watching Conan O’Brien. Weird things you remember, huh?
Eight years ago you were about to move to New York (to work an exciting music industry job), and despite our having become inseparable, some of my friends wondered whether we would be able to survive a long distance relationship. Looking back, I can’t remember even an ounce of worry that we might not make it. We were just that great together.
Seven years ago you moved back to Los Angeles and into my apartment. It was a big step for us, but it didn’t seem so big after my extended stays at your postage sized New York apartment. You had to crawl over the bed to get to the bathroom, remember? Of course, it may not have seemed like such a big move because it just felt right.
Six years ago we had just finished our first year of living together and taken another big step – we expanded our family to three with a baby. A fur one, that is. Rigby taught us a lot about responsibility, but better than that, she showed me just how great our family was going to be.
Five years ago we married high above the city of Angels, danced to a Beatles’ tribute band after saying “I do,” and pledged ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives. One of the three best days of my life…
Four years ago we visited our beautiful daughter, Maddie, in the NICU, and rocked her in our arms to a Beatles’ lullaby CD. Our year together had been incredibly difficult – from your endless weeks on bed rest to the frightening and tearful days in the NICU – but I couldn’t have been more proud that you were my wife at the end of it. Your strength and positivity were amazing things to see.
Three years ago I had a new job, Maddie was an impossibly smile-y and adorable one year old, and we celebrated our anniversary in Vegas discussing the days ahead with excitement. Upon getting home and watching you lift Maddie into your arms I wondered how I ever got so lucky as to have these two extraordinary females in my life.
Two years ago we were finishing the worst year of our lives; a year so horrific that until it came to pass I never imagined such depths were possible. Some people questioned whether we would survive such an experience, but just as when you moved to New York, our love proved too resilient, strong, and beautiful to be broken. We survived. Together. And you made me even prouder to call you my wife than ever before.
One year ago we were at the end of another incredibly difficult year. Having another child in the wake of such loss was harder than we ever imagined, but it was also full of tremendous joy. Just as I had a couple years before, I watched you hold Annabel and wondered what I ever did to deserve the two of you.
This year we are celebrating our anniversary in our first home, and I find myself sitting next to you watching Conan O’Brien once again. The Conan show isn’t where anyone imagined it would be nine years ago (TBS?!), and neither are we. We have been through so much together, and I don’t know what I would have done without you by side. I love you so much, and I am so proud to call you my girl.
Next year will bring better days, if only because we have each other. xoxo