Ten years have come and gone since that day. September 9, 2017, marked a decade that I have called Bernard mine. My boyfriend, my fiancé, my husband, my best friend, my person, my teammate, my counterpart, my love.
If I sit back and reflect on the last ten years, I can see the trajectory of our relationship. The honeymoon stage and normal relationship that emerged once that subsided. The low points that almost broke us and the stronger couple that materialized after those phases relented. The vulnerable moments where trust and understanding grew. The euphoric times where you needed to pinch yourself because they didn’t feel real. Every point, every moment, every phase had its place and was unequivocally necessary.
September 12, 2017, marks our second year of marriage. The best day of my life thus far. Once you are married your wedding date is the one you celebrate and your dating anniversary sort of fades away. I find it difficult to let go of 9-9-07 because of its significance. Bernard and I celebrated that day for six years as boyfriend and girlfriend. I have always felt proud of those six years because we were bonded to one another by nothing but our love and commitment. We didn’t own anything together, and nothing prevented us from walking away at any given time. We choose each other, every day. We choose to stay, to fight, to work things out, to love, to trust, to support, to care for one another, and that has always been something of which I am immeasurably proud.
Now we honor the day we took vows in front of everyone we love. Our vows that made us husband and wife which were meticulously discussed and constructed, so opposite of the off the cuff way we became boyfriend and girlfriend.
“Do you think we could make this work?” Bernard asked sheepishly.
“Absolutely” Confident in my answer but unclear if that meant I was his girlfriend. A Facebook relationship request the next day confirmed I was.
Fast forward to eight years and three days later we stood before 200 guests vowing to continue to do what we had been doing all along; to love, to trust, to care for and support one another, promising to share the other’s burdens and challenging the other to be the best version of him or herself. Confirming to one another that we were entering into the marriage without any hesitation or doubt. I responded just as confidently, if not more so than I did that night in my dorm room, but this time I said, “I do.”
At seventeen years old I knew nothing and thought I knew everything. Immature, insecure, and completely guarded, I met a boy that challenged my view of the world. I fought the idea for many years that this boy would one day be my husband. It just seemed too simple, meeting the boy you are going to marry at seventeen. He took me by surprise, something that is not easily done then or now. He became my anchor and brought a sense of calm to my life; while simultaneously disrupting it.
At twenty-seven years old I have learned a lot but still, know nothing. I’ve matured in the sense that I am recognized as a responsible adult, I pay taxes, and people refer to me as “Mrs.” I feel more certain of myself, and I am not nearly as guarded. A boy, now a man, sits next to me who still challenges my view of the world, a man that has this innate ability to drive me nuts and charm me at the same time. A man who knows everything about me and who loves me anyway. A man that is all mine.
Happy Ten and Two Year Anniversaries Bernard – Thank you for Never Letting Go!