15 years and counting

Roughly 24 years ago a confident, self assured girl met an emotionally stunted boy she was sure she would spend her life with. He was painfully oblivious to her intentions yet they got along well. They ran in some of the same circles, they shared friends, they got together a couple of times but he didn't understand what he wanted, couldn't comprehend it. In high school, he was a band geek, she was on the flag corps, a couple of nerds whose destinies were ultimately intertwined.

It would have been a match made in heaven right there but their relationship faced many obstacles, they both needed a little time to figure themselves out. Shortly after high school, his life going nowhere fast, he left for the Army. Her heart broke as she watched him leave and she tried to move on, he almost sabotaged any chance he had at happiness.

They remained in contact throughout the years: he would visit with her when he came home for vacations, she drove 10 hours to see him at the base where he was stationed, but that was it. He still wasn't seeing what she did and it started to wear on her. She saw no other choice but to force herself to move on, he still wasn't ready to commit, or even see the gift the universe was trying to give him, and his life was going sideways quickly. The only girl he had time for was printed on a Miller High Life logo.

They went their separate ways for a while. He deployed to Iraq for eight months where he witnessed the atrocities of war, she worried about him. She did her level best to drop him from her life.

He came home from the Army in the summer of 2004 and, as destiny continued to pull them together, they started seeing each other again. This is the point in a heartwarming story where the two leads finally figure it out and their lives click, but this is not that story yet. He broke it off with her again.

Some months later, at the house of a mutual friend, he asked her to join him outside for a cigarette. Rain was pouring down as they sat in her car. He told her he finally understood that part of him had been missing this entire time. He didn't want to live a life that didn't include her. Luckily, for reasons I still can't completely understand but am universally thankful for, her love for him was still there.

A couple of points about this story: However you read it, either she comes off as a hopeless romantic, and/or I come off as a complete asshole. I think, at the time, both of those facts were absolutely true. I am honestly at a lack of words for how grateful I am that she stuck it out for all of the ups and downs. I also believe that, if you know someone is the one for you, you go for it with every fiber of your being. I'm thankful every day that she did.

After all the drama, all the confusion and bad feelings/confusing emotions, the boy and girl were married on March 25th, 2006 and have been together since. I'm glad she stuck it out because there isn't a better match for me on this planet. We compliment each other perfectly, we're there for each other through the thick, the thin, the happy, the sadness, the difficulty, the anger, the everything. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this beautiful, enigmatic woman will be in my corner until the day one of us stops breathing and the joy I get from that thought alone carries enough energy to power a thousand suns in a thousand galaxies.

Today marks 15 years we have been married and I am eternally grateful for every minute, every blissful, happy, sad, angry, emotional, beautiful, joyous, difficult, blessed minute.

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