Tomorrow my sweetie and I will be celebrating twenty- nine years of marriage. What an amazing journey! I have to confess that when we were first married I had some preconceived ideas of what love and marriage would be like. I thought love was having my spouse with me all the time, holding hands doing everything together, never having a disagreement. I thought my darling sweetheart would never let me down or hurt me and everything would be perfect for the rest of our life. Wow! Can you believe how incredibly naïve I was? After twenty-nine years what I realized is that no one could live up to the ideals that I had set because we live in an imperfect world and we are imperfect people. I know, you’re thinking, “It took you twenty-nine years to realize this?” Nah I realized it after the first year. I still smile how over the years God has changed my definition of love. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with holding hands, kissing, or hugging your spouse but it’s only a small part of love. Everything I just mentioned is based on emotions and emotions change. I’ve learned that there is a part of love in a marriage based on choice. Love isn’t always glamorous sometimes it can be tough and completely contrary to our own desires. That’s why when you get married you usually say, “For better, for worse in sickness, and in health….” And if you’re married, you remember those words, you have no need for me to write them to remind you. In our marriage, we have weathered the loss of a baby due to miscarriage (absolutely nothing prepares you for that), loss of jobs, the realization that you child will not be like other children. None of this is fun stuff, but we had made a commitment to each other on our wedding day that we would be there for each other. It’s easy to love when things are good but when things are tough, it’s not so easy or so much fun. One thing I learned when I was young, was that you don’t walk out on a friend. My husband is my best friend his tough times are my tough times, and my tough times are his tough times. In those time, the tough times, it’s our commitment to each other that has kept us going. It was choosing to be there for each other. I still love being with my sweetheart, and now that the house is starting to become empty and the chaotic teen years are behind us, we are able to spend more time with each other again. I’ve learned that romantic love is good and necessary but it still takes commitment to make a marriage work. It has not always been hard and I choose to hold on to the good things and ditch the rest. After all these years, he’s still my best friend. Yes we have had some arguments, uh “discussions”, but that’s what your spouse is for. I mean it would be completely awkward if you started arguing with a complete stranger in Walmart. Right? As I look around at other couples, I am eternally grateful to my spouse. He’s not perfect, but he is perfect for me. On those days when he starts to drive me crazy, I remember that I am driving him there too. We’re in this crazy life together and there is a no return policy. Which is just as well, I’m in love with the one I have. I love you to the moon and back darlin'.