I Choose You…

Dear husband of mine,

Twenty-five years together have taught us much. Perhaps one of the most important lessons is that love is not something that happens to you. Love is a choice. A choice you make…or do not make…every day. I have not always chosen love. For this, I am sorry. Sometimes I have chosen self-interest, novelty, defensiveness, lies….

This, I regret.

From here on out, so long as God gives us on this earth,

I choose love.

I choose you.

I choose you. Today and every day, I choose you.

I choose you to shape me. To make me who I am. By loving me, all the time, no matter what, you give me a safe place to become. How do I thank you for that? You also rub me the wrong way. Sometimes. You provoke me. You make me angry. You misunderstand. This I have hated. This I have resisted. But I have come to know this is gift. How ironic! That every time you provoke me, I am challenged. I am made…somehow… better. It is a solemn and difficult process. I can’t say I like it. Always. But I know it is necessary. I am glad I am walking this with you. You, I trust. You are safe. Thank you for that.

I choose you. Today and every day, I choose you.

I choose you to share the adventure….

…the adventure of parenting our three wild and crazy and infinitely wondrous children. Who knew we could have so much fun? Who knew how deeply we could hurt? Who knew how much we would worry? (How much I would worry.) Who knew that those little babies would grow into a lovely young woman and two fine young men that we would admire, respect, and immensely enjoy?

And…..who knew that all the brochures about being grandparents are woefully understated? That we would see one another in completely new ways. Through the wee one…

I choose you. Today and every day, I choose you.

I choose you for the explore. For all the world that we have not seen…..yet. You are my favorite traveling companion. I pick the hotels…sumptuous and romantic…or atmospheric and cheap. And you get us there. Flights. Rental cars. And I will regale you with history and trivia. And you will pretend that you are interested. And I will love you for that. And each of us will see something different. And you will tell me. And I will tell you. And it will be twice as good. Because we are together.

I choose you. Today and every day, I choose you.

I choose you for all that matters. For faith. For family. For friends. For stories no one else knows. For history that need not be explained. For the unsaid…but seen. How do you ever give twenty-five years of memory…of story…to someone else?

I choose you. Today and every day, I choose you.

I choose you for the unknown. For all the unseen that lies ahead. Tomorrow. And the day after that. For everything that will be more wonderful than we imagined. For pain that will threaten to destroy us. I choose you. Because I know that with you is a thousand times better than without you.

I am not innocent. I know it will be more difficult than I imagine. I know that there will be times when I want to quit. When, for just one day, I want to choose me. When I do not want to care about you. But it is more important than either of us know.

God chose you.

For me.

To make me something I cannot become by myself.

I would know that someone.

I would become…her.

AND…

I would that you become who He made you to be.

I know I am the sandpaper that will rub you raw. I will provoke, and irritate, and discomfit. I am sorry it must hurt. I would that it be other.

It cannot.

To that end….

I choose you. Today and every day, I choose you.