a love letter
Today marks 12 years since my first date with my husband, Ed, and 5 years since our wedding day! Our lives are more complicated, more fun, more rich and more messy than I ever could have imagined. Ed and I decided to keep things simple this year (since not much in our life is simple these days) and skip gifts. I still wanted to somehow let Ed know how much he means to me, and so I decided to write him an old fashioned letter. If I could shout from the highest mountain top about this amazing man I married, I would...but today, this blog entry will have to suffice.
To Ed, on our 5th Wedding Anniversary
(What feels like) A million years ago when I was a young girl, I used to throw my love around, hoping wishing praying that it would land on the right person and stick. I felt filled to the brim with emotion, with a desire to find a man who would allow me to pour that emotion out and who would handle it with care. I remember a specific day, writing in my diary after a particularly upsetting break up: please please just let me find the one whom I can safely give ALL of the love I have inside of me. I searched and searched and poured and poured until there wasn’t much left inside of me. I was emptying myself, a hollow shell.
12 years ago today, God decided it was time to fill this hollow shell back up with the love that I had been throwing and pouring and dumping out for so long. 12 years ago, in what I am absolutely certain was the most Divine of interventions, into Centennial Hall walked Edward Raymond Jerzyk, Jr. In walked YOU.
If we have a daughter someday, I’ll tell her it was like a fairy tale, and you were the prince riding into my life on a white horse when I was in trouble. (Except in our story you were wearing sandals in October with outrageous sideburns and you rode in on a rickety, old, rusty suburban. My Prince Charming!) I’ll teach our daughter someday that she is stronger and braver and that she doesn’t need a prince to save her. But Ed? 12 years ago today, you saved me.
You do the laundry. You even check which sweaters need to air dry and you fold every pair of my underwear. You take out the garbage without me asking. You taught our son to thank me after cooking dinner for our family. You cook dinner for our family. You clean up after dinner and sing while you do the dishes. You change diapers and give medicine and you kiss boo-boos and you vacuum. You work two and three jobs to support our family and you come home with energy and positivity and you ask for nothing in return. You’ve embraced bath time with the boys and don’t ever make me feel guilty for not wanting to do it. You know when I’m having a tough day and just need to lay on the couch after work and you clean up and take care of the boys. You know the real me. The sometimes scary, selfish, anxiety-filled me. You kiss me and hug me and flirt with me even when I’m at my absolute worst. You’re the king of household projects and I’ve never had to beg you to start a room renovation or to hang a picture or change a freaking lightbulb. You snuggle our boys as much as I do, you sing them made up songs and tickle them until they squeal and you trust them and teach them and know exactly when to be hard and when to be soft with them. You are soooo much braver than I am, running errands with them without hesitation and sooo much more patient than I am, never resorting to screaming or spanking. You hold their hands and you hold my hand and you lift us all up when we fall down.
There are a million, trillion everyday things that you do, Ed, that fill this once hollow shell to the tippity top with love. You are everything I’ve ever wanted – everything I’ve ever needed.
We’ve been married for 5 years today. In 5 short years we have already been to the moon and back. We moved in together and transformed an old condo into our first home. We travelled the country. We lost jobs, found jobs. We fell to our knees in pain and sorrow after a pregnancy loss and learned what it meant to feel hopeful even in the darkness. We’ve realized the importance of our support system – and man did we get lucky with a web wound SO tight around us of love and light. We watched two blue lines appear on another pregnancy test and celebrated and trusted and watched my stomach grow big and full. We learned how to be parents together through late nights and early mornings and lots of spit up and laughter and tears. We began raising a boy who will someday be a man who I pray is exactly like you. We sold a condo and bought a house and watched my stomach swell once again with life. We endured the hardest months with a baby who cried and cried, and then suddenly he didn’t cry so much anymore. We’ve been close to broke and we’ve felt wealthy and we’ve been grateful for all we have all along the way. We have fought and yelled and cried and we’ve said I’m sorry. In such a short time we have made a home for ourselves; we have made a life for ourselves.
Today, as we celebrate, the thing I want you to know the most is that I don’t take you for granted. I want you to know that I know that this marriage and this life and all that we’ve got going – that it takes effort and sacrifice and hard work and that I SEE all of that in you. I see you, I see all that you are and all that you do to make this life that we have something that we can be proud of. (What feels like) A million years ago when I was a young girl I begged and begged my diary for a man whom I could trust with the overwhelming love I have inside of me. A man who would handle that love with the utmost care and never let me feel empty. I couldn’t be more grateful, more happy, more honored that somehow I got YOU. God has blessed me beyond measure. You fill me up, you make me whole, there isn’t anywhere with anyone that I would rather be, than right here in this mess – in this joyful mess - with you. I love you, Ed. Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary.
All my love,