Time changes things. That goes without saying. So the man I met in 1994, is not the man I’m married to today. Oh, he’s the same Person – just not the same man. He’s changed. And that’s a good thing, though he might not always see it that way.
When we met in 1994, at a job interview, we were both so young and idealistic. We weren’t teenagers or even 20-somethings, but looking back – we seemed so innocent. Although life had already left its mark on us, we both thought we knew who we were, what we wanted, and where we were going in life.
Rick was a store manager; I became his assistant. It Wasn’t love at first sight. I thought he was young and awkward; he thought I was bossy and annoying. I made changes. I organized obsessively – everything from the office, to the staff routines. Order was my security blanket, something I needed to mask the fact that I wasn’t as confident as I pretended to be.
Gradually I realized – the traits I took to be awkwardness and inexperience, were what made Rick an excellent manager and a wonderful man; the man I fell in love with, and the qualities I still admire to this day. He was kind and non-judgmental. He would let an angry employee rant, then calmly address the solution. He kept cool in every crisis. He was strong, both physically and mentally. And he had a delightful sense of humor.
So why do I say he’s not the man I married? Because time changes things. We have had a quarter-century of life changes. Though we never had children, we have weathered our share of deaths and new arrivals. We have tried many paths to success – running our own store, testing various solo careers, even trying our hand at raising alpacas.
Through it all, we have maintained the partnership we perfected as co-workers in the job that brought us together. Rick’s talent and his passion is graphics and photography; mine continues to be writing, especially poetry. His pictures pair effortlessly with my words, a perfect harmony of love.
Rick sees the negatives of getting older – his hair is gray; his body is not so slender or efficient as it once was. And we aren’t rich – at least not in the way he envisioned as a young man. What he sees as shortcomings in himself, he overlooks in me. Because I’ve also changed. My hair is graying, my knees feel much older than the rest of me. And I’m not a world-famous author. Our successes have been small, singular, and quiet.
Rick is not the man I married – he’s better. He is everything I ever wanted. He is my soulmate, my cheerleader, my defender, my hero, and everything I ever wanted in a husband. Through good times and bad, successes and failures, one thing remains constant and true – I am fortunate and blessed, to be married to this man. His love makes me rich beyond compare.
May your holidays be loving, your life kind, and your blessings plentiful; and may you always find pleasure in every day’s small miracles.