Please tell me you recognize that iconic phrase from Princess Bride movie?!?!
The subject of marriage has been on my mind for quite some time now. Well, let's be honest, I met Ben when I was 17 so it has been on my mind for a SUPER long time. This anniversary means we will have been married for 22 whole years. When we had been married a short time, I told Ben I had never loved another boy as long as I had loved him. He thought I was being corny. OK, I was.
Several months ago he found several of the letters I had written to him while he was serving a mission for our church. In one of them I had answered his question as to if I remembered the first time he told me he loved me. It brought back such sweet memories of me sitting in the driver seat of my red chevy pickup, my body turned facing him as I was getting ready to head home. He kissed me and then he said it. I replied back that I loved him too. I still feel weak in my knees and I get all twitterpated just remembering. That was January 6, 1989. I was a senior in high school and he was a newly turned 19 year old about to devote two years of his life to preaching the gospel to the people of South Korea. That would have been 24 years this past January. My how the time has flown.
We wrote letters every week and I do remember one sneaky phone call in the middle of the night while I was at college. He had found a phone card and how he knew my number I have no idea (I an not denying that I may have written it down for him in a letter but the adult me wonders why I would have done that while the young woman in me knows this was exactly why.) He called me and explained about the phone card and not knowing how much time was actually on it. We didn't talk but for just a few minutes but hearing his voice was pure joy. We said I love you over and over and over again before we were disconnected. I think he even has his side of the conversation tape recorded if I had the energy to go back and find it. Not that it matters because I can relive that moment like it was yesterday.
A few short days after his return, we went on our "other" first date. He took me to a dance at the ASU Institute. As soon as we got out of the car before walking into the dance, I took a moment to ask him exactly where we stood as far as our relationship went (2 years is a long time). His reply, "Right next to me," he grabbed my hand and we went into the dance. I'm not sure how I stood up on those wobbly legs as his words just melted me. We were engaged a few weeks later.
The last 22 years have been wonderful but not without our challenges. I would say for the most part, we have been exceptionally happy; we have had sadness because of illnesses and death within our immediate families and have struggled with our share of health problems for our kids and each other. We've moved houses 11 times and that doesn't include a few transitional weeks living with my parents or grandparents while we waited for a house. We have lived the military life as well as civilian life. We've been poor and we've had times of plenty. We have been pregnant 10 times and have brought 8 beautiful children into the world. Our testimonies have been challenged and strengthened and we have served in callings in the church we thought were way beyond our capacity (OK, that might have just been me). We have been blessed beyond measure and my knees still feel wobbly when he walks into the room.
So for the last 22 years, I have stood right next to him through all the heartaches and joys that we have endured. It hasn't been easy but it has been so far, a beautiful life together. Thanks Babe, here's to many many more anniversaries and years of wobbly knees. I haven't ever loved anyone as long (or as much) as I love you today.