Happy 40th! Our Anniversary! This should be the easiest love letter I’ve ever written you. But it’s not. It’s the hardest. It should be a “happy” 40th. But I’m here and you’re “there.” We should be spending the day together. Reminiscing. Celebrating. Patting each other on the back and saying, “Hey, good job! We did it!” But we’re not. We talked about this day for so long. The milestones we marked. Our wedding day. Mere babes. Snowflakes drifting. A white blanket of wonderland. Good luck. I believe it was. Honeymoon. Hawaii. All those islands. But Maui. Our favorite. Who would have guessed our fairytale would “end” there? But the times between. We had it all. Extraordinary. Dreadful. Joyful. Heartbreaking.
#1. Dinner at home. Fancy. Home-cooked. A beautiful horn-shaped necklace rimmed with diamonds swirled on my dinner plate. Just the two of us. Cheers to a lifetime together. Dreams. Family. Laughter. Tears. Success. Heartache. Memories.
#10. A surprise trip to San Francisco. Our first time away from the kids. Alone. Romance rekindled. The hotel’s fluffy white robe. Lounging in bed. Cares washed away. Champagne. Wine. Not a care in the world. Cherishing moments just to be. Together.
#25. Eddie’s Place. My family. And our celebration at Hermosa Inn. Always something special. Mark the occasion. I know every single one.
#30. Our special day. But yet nothing special. X’s and O’s to signify your love. It circles my neck, sparkling with the glow of our love.
#35. You proposed to me. Again. And again. I said “YES!” New ring, but with all the promise of a continued lifetime of love, compassion, friendship, honesty, and trust. Ocean Club. Great dinner. Better company. Ashley and Tyler waiting by the bar. You surprised me. You loved surprising me. And I loved your surprises. What a night! What a great celebration!
We were going to renew our vows. At 20. 25. 30. 35. But life got in the way. We had time. Or so we thought. 40 was next. That was our plan. A trip? 2nd “wedding?” We could decide. But somebody else decided for us.
So here I am. Writing my 40th anniversary love letter to you. We had the best of the best. But we also had the worst. I believe that’s what made us so great. I will cherish both. Forever. The struggles, the heartaches, the pain, taught us to be grateful. To appreciate life. Each other. Our children. It taught us to communicate. To listen. To be compassionate. With each other. With others. We did not settle. We wanted more. We always wanted more. Even after 38 years together, we wanted more. More time together. I believe it would be the same if you were here with me today. More time. More love. More of us. Nothing is easy. It takes sacrifice, struggle, and fight to be successful. At anything. Marriage is no different. We were a team. And a good one at that. You were my partner. My best friend.
You were the BEST thing that EVER happened to me. Some would say, “What about your kids? What about your grandkids?” Well, if it wasn’t for YOU, they wouldn’t be! So, yes, YOU were the BEST! You will always be the BEST. You taught me so much. I am still learning. But I realize that these lessons are coming from you. You guided me. You helped me become a better person. A stronger person. I miss you more than words could ever describe, but I am still here. I have to keep going. You have given me the strength to do that. I know I can’t stop. I can’t just “be.” Life is too short.
I see you everywhere. You have gifted me this week with beautiful rainbows. You smiled down on me. I know it was you. Thank you. I needed that. You are smiling at me by my bedside. On my walls. My phone. My computer. But most of all in my heart. You will be there forever. Happy 40th. 40 is the year of the ruby. My birthstone. “An eternal inner flame, a symbol that the passion in a marriage is still very alive and strong after 40 years together.” We are an eternal flame. Whether together here on earth, or separated by some other means. The flame still burns. I miss you. I wish this were different. But it’s not. So for now, I will celebrate the love we shared. The life we shared. And the legacy of love we are leaving behind. I love you Gregger. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.