I don’t know the exact date when Clay proposed – it was May 2004 and we were in Florida. I think it was around May 14th or 15th, give or take a couple of days, and it happened right around midnight – that’s all I’ve got. But I do remember his slightly shaky voice, his trembling hands, and my almost too-fast response. To a casual observer, I’m sure it hardly looked like a grand gesture of love but to me, it was the most perfect proposal – even if I can’t remember the exact date.
It turns out that remembering the date of your proposal isn’t necessary for a happy marriage. Today marks 10 years of wedded bliss for us – my handsome husband has been my partner-in-crime, my co-pilot, and my rock ever since I first fell in love with him during the fall months of 2001. And 10 years of marriage later, there is still nobody else I’d rather have by my side.
December 18, 2004
The man on the left worked with my dad at the time – I haven’t really a clue who he is but he is forever immortalized in my favorite photograph from our simple wedding. We were practically babies – young and naive but determined to take on the world. And as I look around at the life we’ve built together over the past 10 years, I can’t help but glance at the fresh-faced couple in the picture above and say, “You did good, kids.“
Love isn’t about a picture-perfect proposal, a big wedding, or expensive anniversary gifts. It’s the uncontrollable fits of laughter that leave you with big fat uncontrollable tears streaming down your cheeks. It’s the pit in your stomach as you’re waiting to be reunited after separated by war. Love is admiration, love is respect, love is the ability to remain sane while packing up your worldly belongings and schlepping them around the country. It’s dreaming together about your future, it’s the random I love you’s throughout the day, and it’s about being stronger together than apart.
To my Clay –
I have loved you for approximately 4803 days, possibly longer. You never fail to make me laugh, encourage me relentlessly, and even humor my crazy ideas. I am so incredibly thankful for our love and our life together. I love our love – I dare say that it’s one for the record books. But saying I love you doesn’t seem to fully embody just how I feel. So you know what? It seems fitting to end this little note with a snippet from our song…
“I’m glad to give my love to you.
I know you feel the way I do.
Anything you want, you got it.”