I have been married sixteen years today.
Don’t get me wrong, I know why I am married currently, but I’m not sure the reasons that one stays married are enough. There is something purer, something silly, extravagant, and true about the reasons a girl marries a boy. And that is what I was in those old snapshots – a girl waiting for life to make her a woman.
This morning I decided forgetting was not an option so I sat there staring at our smooth faces and innocent smiles – remembering.
Sixteen years ago today, I married Jesse McKeeman.
We got married because…
He made me the best scrambled eggs I had ever had.
He got up before dawn and stayed out past dark to run with me. We ran in snow, rain, and beating sun. We ran down crowded city streets, through the zoo, and on wooded trails. We laughed, talked and just breathed in and out beside each other mile after mile.
When I was sad or confused he knew just what to say and always took the time to say it.
He let me borrow his Keith Green CD’s.
His smile was contagious, and my lips wanted to feel his.
He showed me Jesus, told me of Jesus, gave me space and grace to know Jesus.
He was the FIRST boy who didn’t pressure me sexually or leave me for not giving some of my body away. The FIRST and ONLY boy who let me have complete control of my own body in our relationship.
He waited for me to finish college; he waited to marry me, waited to make love to me until I had the degree I had been working so hard for. Together we waited and dreamed.
His biceps were large, and he smelled of Old Spice.
He learned to swing dance with me, twirling me in his strong arms and lifting me above his head. We rollerbladed hours up and down a tree lined path and swam laps where I think he let me beat him. He even rode horses with me.
His car was red and fast. He was learning how to fly airplanes.
He worked and studied with me. He cooked with me and ate lunch together. He took me on some dates, but more often he just lived life with me.
He thought I was beautiful and didn’t expect me to live up to an image that I was not.
He wrote me notes and planned picnics. When he went away to officer candidate school we sent each other letters like our grandparents did.
He talked to me of the babies we would have and the children we would raise together.
He had a purposeful, adventurous plan for life and invited me to join him.
He thought my dreams, interests, and goals had meaning.
His t-shirts were nice to wear.
And I couldn’t imagine not seeing what life with him would be like.
I couldn’t let someone else have that honor, and wonder for the rest of my days what it would have been like to be Jesse McKeeman’s wife.
Sometimes the four kids, his job, my housework, and how we have set this life up together isn’t enough anymore because I’m not just the woman that life has made me.
I am still a girl who wants a boy to sweep her off her feet. I’m still a girl who wants to have something big to give him.
Scrambled eggs, strong arms, a sweet smile, and dreams are enough for that girl – I just have to remember how not to forget her because when I do I lose us.
Happy Anniversary my love, of course you were the one to marry. No other man could ever be to me what you are. I’m thankful to walk through life with you, and when I’m not walking well thanks for still being there – always.