Yesterday marked 12 years since I walked down the aisle to the most amazing human I have the pleasure of spending my days with. It is the first year I didn’t make a publicly acknowledge or write a blog or do much of anything to say that it was our anniversary. Heck, privately we didn’t really acknowledge it either. We woke and said “happy anniversary” and then I apologized that I didn’t do anything this year. No card. No surprises. No plans. Nada. Nothing. John didn’t either. We were on the same page that this year luckily, we just didn’t feel like celebrating. And that is perfectly ok. Just a hug and deep sigh before starting our day.
12 years ago when repeating our vows, I knew there was going to be hard times and things wouldn’t be easy all the time but I never expected this and how hard this could be. I thought the “worse” in better or worse would be arguments, maybe growing apart in our old age and having to find each other again but never in a million years did I think the “worse” was going to be this bad. Our twelfth year of marriage had some beautiful moments and highs but we also faced our darkest times. 3 pregnancy losses and then Noah. We are shattered in every sense of the word and we are the same people we were on May 31st but at the same time, we aren’t. We are going to have to rediscover each other again.
The change in us isn’t something that built over time. It was sudden. Unexpected. Final. Trying to navigate these feelings in our selves, with our children, and with each other is daunting. We don’t grieve the same. We aren’t on the same “grieving schedule” it seems even though we are both grieving the same amazing son and life we had with Noah. There is a lot of unspoken and understood glances, sighs, hot tears rolling down a cheek but not a lot of discussion. Yet. Where we used to fill our evenings with chatter and laughs, there is a lot of silence. Luckily John understands completely why and what I’m going through and he seems to need the same. We know we have to figure out a way to rebuild our lives and find each other again all while keeping the past close at hand and one day we will but right now, we are still in survival mode.
I still love John more each day and I would still choose him and this life 1000x over but to be honest, celebrating 12 years sadly seems so insignificant this year. I will celebrate that we are still standing; that we are getting through each day but maybe next year we will at least get a card and feel happy and accomplished within our marriage. Not that we aren’t, that we weren’t before but there’s just this giant shadow, a void that took precedence this year. Maybe it will again next year too. Who knows? But, on this 12 year anniversary, we are just happy to be surviving together and still choosing each other.