20 years is to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part. It’s needing notes to remember the words, a congregation of friends chuckling.
20 years is our first home with a deep front porch. It’s tearing out ugly mustard-colored carpet to find pristine hardwood floors beneath, it’s stripping wallpaper in dime-sized pieces. It’s sitting on lawn chairs and eating off stacked crates.
20 years is traveling far and wide, young and carefree, climbing historic church towers and hiking stunning canyons. It’s snorkeling, horseback riding, swimming in waterfalls and driving coastlines. It’s Arizona, Hawaii, France and the Olympics, Prague, Poland and Germany, it’s islands, mountains and oceans.
20 years is the first plus-sign on the stick, the happy tears, the growing belly, the drive home with our new baby girl realizing she was ours to care for and protect and love. Forevermore. And then we were three.
20 years is first cell phones, cool-looking things with an antennae and no such thing as texting. It’s sleepless nights, dribbling giggles, first steps and ABC’s. It’s time with grandparents and families, time with each other. Time together. A family.
20 years is a baby boy, the first in a generation, smiley and sweet. The gift of a brother for his sister. It is saying goodbye to our first house and moving over the river. The house of dreams, a front porch covered in vines, that we filled with infinite love.
20 years is birthday parties and christenings, first days of school and scraped-up knees. It’s toddlers and tea parties, Play-Doh and sledding, bicycles and finger paints. It’s welcoming an 8-year old Little Sister and making our son a big brother with a water baby blessing our lives. Our family complete.
20 years is moving once more to honor our values, to live what we believed. It’s family dinners and home movies, it’s being there, planting gardens, building tree forts, and continuing traditions. Shorelines and friendships, school days and camping trips, first bus rides and kids growing big.
20 years is teamwork and connecting as partners and best friends. It’s talking and debating, deciding and dreaming, hoping and laughing. It’s holding hands, rubbing shoulders, nudging snores, and dancing slowly. It’s silly jokes, knowing glances, being understood. It is freedom to be who we are, authentic, whole, and safe.
20 years is a gift. A blessing, a treasure. It is at once a forever and a beginning.
My heart is yours. You always have been, and always will be, my true companion, my soulmate, my knight in shining armor, my Mr. Right, my perfect steak knife.
I love you. I live you.
Happy 20th Anniversary, My Love.
© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014