Friday, June 19, 2009

A Toast to the Forgiveness This Life Provides

It was on this very day sixteen years ago that the woman I love with all of my heart and I were wed. In the wee small hours of each and every morning since, I would be less than truthful if I did not acknowledge the presence of a small part of me that looks at her when my alarm clock rings and wonders, "Why'd she do this?" And I would be lying absolutely if I failed to acknowledge the presence of a much larger part of me that responds, "Shut up you idiot, you'll ruin everything!"

Margaret is the great miracle of my life. It would stretch Mr. Einstein's work beyond the point of recognition to say, relatively speaking, I was not much of a catch. Up until the point in my life when I began dating Margaret, I had not envisioned for a moment the likelihood of my life's course following a trajectory that included marriage and children. From the first night we went out - first to Chan's Garden in Dunellen for dinner and, afterwards, to Tumulty's Pub in New Brunswick for cocktails and conversation - I could not envision my life without them. And eighteen years after that fateful first date, I still cannot.

Since we two last completed a lap, much has been altered within our universe. We have watched one of our two kids move two time zones away in pursuit of his own dream and his own future. We have had to deal with the upsetment visited upon a home when one spouse is turned upside down by issues that arise outside of the home's four walls but nevertheless command attention of those living inside. We have buried three women of critical importance to my bride: her Aunt Meni, her Nanny and most recently and most painful of all her Mom.

And through it all, we have remained where we have been each and every day for the past eighteen years, including the sixteen that we have spent as married folks. We are still standing one beside the other - each supporting the other. I know not what life would have become for me - and where it would have taken me - had I not had the exquisitely good fortune of meeting Margaret all those years ago. I believe, however, that wherever it would have been, it would have been a much darker, much more depressing place. There is a none-too-subtle distinction between living and simply being alive.

The scars we carry remain but the pain slips away it seems. Another day, another entry into my book of dreams.

Happy Anniversary Margaret. I love you more than I can properly express in words.


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