I don't know how you do it. I don't know how you come back home night after night and give me your attention and share yourself with me, even if what you're sharing is frustration and disappointment. My dear one, we are not where we thought we'd be. But I have to believe this is where we are supposed to be. And this struggle is teaching us how to walk well, how to walk when we believe we are too tired to pick up our feet, and how to carry each other when the other cannot go on. You have carried me for years here. You have made my path broad, smooth, safe, and comfortable. You have moved rocks out of my way and you have carried me when I've twisted my ankles in the holes of sadness, anxiety, anger, and outright petulance. And although one hand is full, caring for this sweet life that is the very twisting and intertwining of our hearts and bones, my other hand is reaching for you, ready to support you, to carry you, to give you what I have.
There is this tiny, hungry mouth between us.
But the ropes of the past three years of marriage, and the two years before that day we said we would love each other with abandon and without boundaries are also between us, tying us to each other. The cords of our dreams and hopes for the future are braided together with those of our beautiful past. And I believe those ties will bind us together through the difficulties of our present.
There are days when I wish things were different, when I wish I was not where I am, or who I am. But there is never a single second that I wish I was anywhere other than with you. My life with you in the dark places is better than my life without you in the sunshine. You are my half. I love you.
It's your birthday and I'm not sure you believe that you have much to celebrate about the past year, or the coming one. But I hope you can find some sweet moments, some poems, to remember and cherish. This next year is about building our family, making our own traditions, and working hard to stay the people we've always been while adding the layers of mother and father. I know this is hard and heavy. But Mary Oliver wrote this about heaviness:
"It's not the weight you carry
but how you carry it-
books, bricks, grief-
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot and would not,
put it down."
Kenny, we will carry it together. And we will not put it down.
Happy Birthday, precious husband.