Uphill.

Brent,

I was talking last night with Sarah about what I felt was the defining difference between a relationship and a marriage. It comes down to this, from that first day when we looked each other square in the eye and said “forever”, it redefined the way with which I would experience life. No longer would I ever be alone. Physically or mentally. No burden, heartbreak, challenge or triumph would be shouldered or celebrated on my own. There was no escaping, no saying I quit. We were going to do this and we were going to do it together.  We made that promise to one another on an evening in late September and our new reality was like lightening through me.

Looking back at the photos of our wedding day and at these newest images, I’m struck with how much we had to learn about the commitments of marriage. How much five years would teach us about patience and courage and partnership. I stare at the lines in our faces now, how they’ve been drawn there by time and the weight of responsibility. Etched by worry and so much laughter. It warms me to see the hints in your eyes of the man you will be at 80, and the way your beard is now speckled with gray. I’m so incredibly grateful to be growing older alongside you.

I have always said the reason I knew you were the one was because you were the only boy I had ever dated who I grew more attracted to and in love with as time passed. There was always a peak and a turn downward in all of my relationships before you. But you have been nothing but a steady climb. Always uphill. And I’ve realized that being in a relationship on an incline has made us work harder than ever before. It means walking into the wind occasionally. It sometimes means holding on to each other for dear life when our footing slips. But the view up here with you, Brent… there’s nothing else in this world that compares.

Happy five years to us, my darling! Here’s to the next sixty years of uphill… and to the mountains and clouds and the stars that await us.

I love you,

M

(Special thanks to Autumn Harrison for these images. I’m just so in love with them. Another note, the cream dress I’m wearing in some of the photos was my mother’s wedding dress in 1976. I had it cropped to the knee and wore it to our rehearsal dinner. It’s one of the most cherished items I own.)