The day I walked down the aisle to get married, the only thing I really knew was that I was cannonballing into an experience that was just unknowable. Sally Forth, I was done with just being me.
The things I knew about my husband were basic, he is easy going, he is intelligent, he has a great sense of humor, he is a good listener and a wonderful conversationalist and I liked his smile very much. Add to that that he was a bit of a geek, loved to create things with wood and had an aptitude on how to fix things and seemed to like me very much, and we were off to the races.
“These go to 11” from Spinal Tap. I am curious which of my friends will be able to chuckle at this.
Naturally as we celebrate eleven years together, eleven eventful years of births and death, professional success and personal comings-undone, I know a little bit more of him.
Let me count the ways…
1. Jeff has a graciousness built into the way he views his relationships. He treads lightly, avoids the snarls, unless he is presented with a good political or theological debate, those of which I enjoy sitting on the sidelines listening to understand a little bit more about where his mind is these days, because he is a dynamic thinker. He seems to be changing constantly as he applies his values honestly to the world around him.
2. Even in these debates, he is still very respectful, he is able to speak without thorns or daggers buried in his words.
3. In his graciousness he befriends people in a way entirely differently from me, with an eye for very different qualities.
4. He doesn’t waste his time idly speaking ill of people. I love this quality.
5. While his profession requires him to skim the top of much information, he is still inclined to pick up the odd 1000 page tome and read it to its completion. He enters into tasks with great concentration, and sometimes I get to do this with him, and this is when we collaborate, and that is my favorite part of our marriage. When he goes to work on the things he does well, and I try to figure out either how to help him or how to steer good ideas. He immerses himself in his projects, maybe even gets a little lost, and this brings him great joy, I think.
6. He is still wickedly handsome when he smiles.
7. He attempts to maintain balance in all situations. I don’t always agree, but I know that his heart is in the right place.
8. In the past year he showed me a new part of him when he saw that a change needed to be made and he did everything he could to realize it. In this I saw him proactively showing love to all of us in his daily life.
9. While maybe he is a bit more introverted than I first knew, he is always very, very easy to get along with. I think this has taken him far professionally, but also it does good in our marriage.
10. He is a great helper and values making himself available to help out not only in our home but when he finds out that others need a hand too. His greatest joy is in helping and involving the kids.
11. The best thing about Jeff is that he changes and wants to be better. He is aware of his own limitations and he probably accepts them better than I do my own, and so he spends less time being frustrated.
While #10 looked like the undoing, #11 has had restoration breathed back into it. Happy Anniversary, I hope you can look with deep satisfaction at what we have made together as well as what we have in the years to come, Jeff.