Future Days

If I ever were to lose you
I’d surely lose myself 

Thursday afternoon Eddie and I were driving home from basketball camp. The song “We Are Going to be Friends” by the White Stripes came on the radio. I looked in my rear-view mirror as I sang quietly along in time to see Eddie bobbing his head with the tune.

“Ya know, Eddie…this song always makes me think of you.”

“Why, mom? Because it’s about school?”

“Yeah. A little. I don’t really know why. School I guess. And being friends. You’re a good friend and I hope you always are. Plus you were my first little dude and I hope we always have these talks.”

“I like that, mom.”

Everything I have found dear 
I’ve not found by myself

We wordlessly listened to the rest of the song. The next song was a Pearl Jam song. One of my favorites. I sang along, and Eddie thoughtfully listened.

Try and sometimes you’ll succeed
To make this man of me 

When it was over Eddie said, “That was nice. I liked that one too.”

“That song makes me think of Daddy, you know. Every time I hear it.”

“Is it because it sounds like Daddy singing?”

“What? Oh! Ha! Is that what Daddy sounds like when he sings?”

“A little. Yes. Actually a lot. Yup.”

“I never thought of that. Actually the words make me think of Daddy.  Well, me and Daddy.”

“Because you love each other?”

“Yup. It’s about being with someone forever.”

“I like that.”

“Me too, bud.”
All my stolen missing parts 
I’ve no need for anymore

Today is eleven years since we said, “I do,” but I realized that this past May officially marked twenty years of friendship.
I believe 
And I believe cause I can see 
Our future days
Days of you and me 

I’ve written about our story…about how are paths were so twisty and overgrown with other stuff that we couldn’t see that they were leading to each other. That both of us prayed and wished and hoped for someone to not just marry, but someone to love and laugh and cry with forever and ever.
Back when I was feeling broken 
I focused on a prayer 

In fact, we even did this wishing and hoping and praying many times together. Until all that was left was the two of us: looking at each other and just knowing.
You came deep as any ocean
Did something out there hear?

Every time I question God or prayer or faith or grace, I think back on how we are even here together. How we never saw it coming, and how now we can’t imagine it any other way.
All the complexities and games 
No one wins but somehow they’re still played

We are not perfect. We still get annoyed with each other. We quarrel. We snip at each other. We get on each other’s nerves with our “quirks” and bad habits.
All the missing crooked hearts
They may die but in us they live on 

But we also laugh. We laugh so much. We laugh through and into and around our tears. We suck in our breath and pray through our fears. We listen to each other talk, but more importantly, we listen to each other’s silence.
I believe
And I believe cause I can see
Our future days 
Days of you and me 

Sickness, death, pregnancy loss, job loss, sanity loss…we have been through all of it, and yet…
When hurricanes and cyclones raged
When winds turned dirt to dust
When floods they came or tides they raised
Ever closer became us

It’s not easy. People have said we make it look easy. I think that is because we were…ARE…such great friends. I wasn’t a cliche when I said I married my best friend. I really did. And it still surprises and delights me.
All the promises at sundown 
I’ve meant them like the rest 

Even though my depression and anxiety lie and say I don’t deserve any of this that we have built together as a team, I know we are both in it until that death do us part thing. And even then…
All the demons used to come round 
I’m grateful now they’ve left 

One of my favorite quotes about love going on forever is from the YA novel, Wonder: “You don’t need your eyes to love, right? You just feel it inside you. That’s how it is in heaven. It’s just love, and no one forgets who they love” (227).
So persistent in my ways 
Hey Angel I am here to stay 
No resistance, no alarms
Please, this is just too good to be gone

So we’ve been married for eleven years, but I believe that our future days…and the ones after we are no longer on this earth…are days of you and me.
I believe 
And I believe cause I can see 
Our future days 
Days of you an me 
You and me
Days,…
You and me

Happy anniversary, my love. I’m sorry I forgot to buy a card.

future days

*Lyrics from the song “Future Days” by Pearl Jam

Ten

When the album Ten by Pearl Jam was released in  August of 1991, I was but a child on the verge of entering eighth grade. Cortney was about to enter seventh grade at the same middle school.

We had not officially met each other yet let alone gotten ourselves swept away by Eddie Vedder’s croony voice and Mike McCready’s mad guitar skills. We were both incredibly awkward, scrawny, and pretty much mostly neck and pimples.

But by the time that school year would end, both of us would become friends with a sibling pair that would lead to our meeting, our love of Pearl Jam, our close friendship, and yes, a wedding, babies, etc.

Our story is not only one I didn’t think I would get, but one I didn’t think I wanted. Yet it’s the most lovely example of why I just cannot believe in coincidences.

Today we celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.

Pointing is Groovy

It was my favorite day.

As much as I can point to the births of all three of my children as life-changing events, my wedding day is my most beloved memory. It was the most fun and I felt the most beautiful and we smiled and laughed. There was dancing and laughing and hugging and kissing.

Plus it was the day Cortney and I officially took our status as “best friends” to the next level in front of everyone we loved. We said out loud all the promises we knew in our heart.

It was an amazing day.

Yet we had no idea what was ahead of us.

There has been a lot of struggle and challenge in the past ten years, but you know what? We never ever stopped the laughter.

2015-06-13 18.35.40

This past weekend we decided to take a quick, 30-hour trip without the kids. On our honeymoon we daydreamed about coming back to Myrtle Beach and staying in a super fancy pants hotel for our tenth anniversary. Or going somewhere with a swim-up bar. Something much fancier than the meager road trip to the Mystic Sea Resort (Pro-tip: “Resort” does not always mean “resort”.)

That wasn’t in the cards this year.

We just had a baby for one thing, and for all the other things…well…let’s just say it wasn’t in the cards.

But we knew we needed to get away and just be with each other for longer than a dinner. We needed to be alone and laugh and be on our own schedule, even if just for a day.

So we drove three hours to Six Flags and rode rollercoasters and giggled about how it has been almost sixteen years since we rode a rollercoaster together.

We said stupid stuff and laughed about it.

We giggled at farts without having to tell anyone that “toots are not appropriate”.

We had more than one cocktail with dinner.

2015-06-13 19.45.57

We listened to the Pearl Jam channel on sirius XM a LOT and sang along and reminisced about the shows we’ve seen and how, in high school along with our friends, we would pile in someone’s car in search of the latest Pearl Jam “bootleg”. We heard tunes from Atlanta: The Day Before, and laughed about how hard to get that was at one time.

Pearl Jam has ten studio albums out to date.

 

I feel like “ten” is lucky.

I can’t wait to laugh and rock through our next ten years. For now, I’ll just go dig up a wicked awesome version of “Porch” and jam out to the guitar solo.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
(lyrics from “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam, of course)

some kind of wonderful

Last night he held me while I shook with sobs.

He didn’t say it would be fine or that everything would be good in the end.

No.

He knows better.

After nine years of marriage, we both know better.

But he held me and told me I was wonderful.

This is why we are together…why nine years has flown by despite all the loss and struggle.

We hold each other.

And remind each other of our wonderfulness.

us

Happy anniversary, Cortney. I love you.

Thank you for being wonderful.

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