Yesterday marked the 16th anniversary of the day my girlfriend and I drove up to Vermont for a long weekend. I was carrying a ring in my front jeans pocket. The ring was not unlike the ring Frodo carried, as mine contained wicked magic as well. And was wicked expensive. The moment we checked into our quaint Bed and Breakfast I wanted to ask her. But we situated our bags, toured the inn and meandered on the grounds before walking across the street and down a path into the woods with its turning foliage. We were talking about something, but I wasn’t really in the conversation. All I could think of was when I’d do it. I had no real plan. We got about 100-yard into the stroll when I couldn’t wait any longer. I stopped and knelt down to tie my shoe. So original. Then I took a breath and got on my other knee and spun toward her. On both knees. Like an idiot. My hand was buried in my jeans pocket. I removed it with the ring of power in my palm, extended my hand and asked her to marry me. She said yes. There were no tears. I was relieved, but not shocked. We were made for each other from the very start.
Sixteen years later, we’re ancient. We’ve got two daughters, and my old girlfriend’s mother lives in an apartment out back. We’ve had cats and dogs and fish and guinea pigs. We even had a cockatiel fly into our lives and stay for a couple years. There have been big moves, and big moments. We live hard. And they were right – life hasn’t been easy. But it’s always been pretty fucking beautiful. And so even on insignificant anniversaries like this, it’s important to remember what matters most. Because each day is filled with unique challenges – and true love is what keeps them all glued together.