010: ON 13 YEARS & MORE TO COME
Love, Dad, is a real-life series of ongoing letters to my children. While these letters are intended to be read by them later in life, I feel that many of us — parents and non-parents alike — connect with the stories, lessons and moments that forever bond us to those whom we love.
To You Both,
As with most nights before bed, you asked me to tell you a story about me, but this time you asked me to tell you a story about me when I was older and not when I was little. Your change in direction, son, came at an interesting time as this idea is something I’d already been mulling over for a few days.
You asked me this around New Years Eve, just a few days before the 13th anniversary of when your mama and I were married. This anniversary, more so than others past, has me looking back in time in a very real way… we’ve lived a lot of life as a married couple.
In those 13 years we’ve seen the military come and go, we’ve worked our way through college, at times barely scraping a few pennies together, we started first jobs and changed jobs, we bought our first home and then our second home, we’ve lost loved ones, we’ve taken trips, we’ve laughed, we built a business, we closed a business, we made you and, most importantly, we’ve loved each other everyday in between.
As I sit here now, I look around and can attribute so much to your mama being in my life. Not just where we are in life and the life we’ve built, but, quite honestly, who I am as a person. Without your mama, I would not be, well, me. I don’t know who I’d be or where I’d be or what I’d be, but I know I wouldn’t be me.
And that comes from trust and vulnerability and so many other wonderfully scary things.
One simple example, one I didn’t share with you while I was telling you about when we got married, is how I found my way into my line of work. I wish (actually, I don’t) I had a grand story about a childhood passion for this or for that, but that isn’t how this story started.
Instead, after I left the Army and and was getting settled into college, your mama said to me one day as we were driving home from Harris Teeter, “We had this professor come and speak to our theory class today, he retired from the Air Force and did something a lot like psychological operations, and he talked to us about public relations and what its all about. I think you’d like it.”
And that was that, with her account of his guest lecture and some light research, I decided on my direction for education and career. That has led us to where we are today with regard to the town we live in, the house we live in… everything.
Your mama coming into my life is the best thing that has ever happened to me. From the moment she knocked on my door mere hours after I got home from the second deployment — a surprise I was not at all prepared for — to the moment she said yes, to I do, to I’m pregnant, to we have to empty the dishwasher and to good morning, she’s been a treasure.
You see, marriage can be many things, but if you find the right partner you will always come to the next day a better version of yourself. It takes diligent work, don’t get me wrong, but it’s some of the best work you will do in this life.
Until next time.
Written January 2, 2023