This morning I was thinking about what I was doing 27 years ago. I was wearing a soft pink sweat suit (yes, that was a thing in 1991) and too nervous to eat. I had my pink Caboodle loaded with all the makeup and accessories I needed, my dress was in the protective hanger thing and I headed to Rogers Avenue to get ready for the biggest day of my life. I hate being the center of attention so I focused on everything but what was about to happen. Hair, makeup, hanging out with my sister, mom, and other female family members while I got ready is all pretty much a blur. I do remember my insistence that I would be at least 15 minutes late walking down the aisle and insisted that my dad make sure Tim was there before I even started getting dressed. He actually locked the door behind Tim. You see Tim had a really bad habit of being late for practically every date we had, like hours late. I wanted to 1) make sure he was there, 2) make him wait for the first time in our relationship and hopefully sweat it out just a little. How silly. I just made all the people attending bored and uncomfortable while I tried to make a point that was completely lost on my betrothed. Hopefully 27 years have matured me in ways more profound than the grey hair I am finally embracing and the wrinkles that seem to pop up overnight now.
Our life together has not been what I thought it would be when I was a very young 23. I’m sure it isn’t what Tim thought it would be either. And have we been through some very rough stuff. There was the death of Tim’s brother just a couple of years into our marriage that just broke our hearts. There have been years of plenty and years of struggle and barely getting by. We walked the incredibly hard road of infertility that devastated me for a decade. I still feel really guilty that I could not give this wonderful man a child who shared our DNA. But he assures me that given our genetic challenges that God knew what he was doing. Who knows. We weathered a failed business and the depression and financial rebuilding that came with it. We have lost dear family members and friends. We have traveled and seen parts of the world that some never get a chance to see. We have enjoyed countless amazing concerts in various venues. We have had quite a run and so much fun. Always our relationship has been full of laughter and the ability to make fun of each other with impunity.
Nothing compares to the life we now lead. Being foster parents has changed us completely. We don’t see the world the same way. We don’t make the same decisions and our priorities are completely different. This morning instead of waking up in a hotel in a new city with sights to be seen and restaurants and bars to patronize, we are watching Baby Shark on You Tube and debating whether to grill out or steam oysters inside since the deck is still a frozen sheet of ice. Knowing that we are potentially months away from being full-fledged parents is sobering and amazing and dinning with a toddler makes all restaurants potential meltdown locales so dinner in and You Tube sounds really nice.
More than anything I am grateful to my funny, kind, amazingly patient and wise life partner. 27 years ago he got a wife that was young, energetic, full of hope and plans and pretty hot who was always up for a party and a night on the town and now he has a tired, but still hopeful middle aged old lady whose idea of a good time is a bowl of soup and an early bed time. As our love for each other has grown and matured so has our outlook on life. We are now a couple with a growing family, a growing faith and an assurance that God has got our back. So ultimately I want to say, “thank you Tim Senters! You have taught me more about what love looks like than I ever imagined 28 years ago when you first introduced yourself by shaking my hand and spelling your name to start our blind date. I’m certain that you didn’t imagine our lives would look like they do now that day we hiked the Pinnacle, climbed a boulder and you asked me to marry you. I’m so glad you did that. What a brave man you are! Happy Anniversary! I love you.”
Colossians 3:14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.