This year my wife and I celebrate 10 years of marriage. We have lived in two countries, moved eleven times (yes, you read that right), brought two niños into this world, bought three vehicles, signed a mortgage on one house, owned four dogs, and fought a few times but have probably laughed a million more times (give or take a thousand).
I remember when I asked her to marry me. It was the 4th of July of 2003 at the Bridgepointe Marina in New Bern, NC. We arrived early that afternoon to secure a spot on the water near the boats. It was a little pathetic on my part to arrive 6 hours before the fireworks were to start but at that point I was a determined bundle of nerves. I had never asked someone to marry me before. It had to be memorable.
We found a bench right on the water overlooking all the yachts. I am sure she kept wondering what in the world we were doing there all afternoon waiting for the fireworks but I told her we needed to secure a bench. I had to wait for the right moment to give her the small diamond ring that was burning a hole in my pocket as a token of my commitment to her. I was not going to lose our bench.
Right before dusk people started herding in to get a view of the fireworks. I was smug because we were in possession of one of the few benches along the waterfront. We could sit and enjoy the lights and noise and not have to stand through it all. But, suddenly at the last minute I was overpowered by my nervousness and I got up from our bench and took her to stand by the water. After six hours in the North Carolina heat in July, I had lost our bench.
With my heart almost beating out of my chest I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes! It was great! I did it! I couldn’t believe it. We were engaged. After the fireworks some people came up to me and shook my hand. We stood around a while after everyone left and then walked to the car.
Ten years later we still laugh about that night. And ten years later I still love being with her. Through the hard times and especially the fun times we have stuck together.
In the end, whether I am successful in my career or not, the most important thing that I have is my marriage and my family.
Last night, I presented her with a new diamond engagement ring and wedding band set to commemorate our 10th anniversary.
No one can do life without their spouse.
I don’t want her to forget that. And I don’t want to forget it either.