I’m going to be a little more personal than I tend to be, today. You see, it’s my second wedding anniversary. I have spent the last 731 days married to my best friend and the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen . . .
I was raised to understand that no public celebration of an anniversary is complete without Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years” playing. Open this link in a different tab in your browser, then read as you listen. Awesome. Nothing says “love forever” like violins playing in registers almost higher than the human ear can detect.
Dona and I “officially” met at table 3-3 at Steak n’ Shake in Carbondale, Illinois in the fall of 2003. She remembers meeting me that previous Easter Sunday, but I don’t recall it–I only recall how good I looked in that suit. For the five years that would follow, our friendship was defined by loving each other’s company, getting closer and closer as friends, then closer and closer to a relationship, then one of us (usually me) putting the brakes on and forcing a separation for at least a few months, rinse, repeat. God seemed persistent in making sure our lives kept colliding. Even me moving to Seattle couldn’t and didn’t keep us apart, since she showed up to live here, too, less than a year after I did for reasons entirely unrelated to me (honestly). She and some other people figured out what all that meant pretty early on, but it took me a little longer. Well, (very) long story short, I finally asked her out on June 5, 2008, we became an official couple during an all-day super-date on June 14, 2008, became officially engaged on July 2, 2008 at the hammock outside of her old house, and were married on September 13, 2008. I’ll save you the time of counting that: that’s 13 weeks from first date to marriage. We figured we already had five years of friendship behind us so we didn’t need to date for too long, especially since we both knew it was coming the moment I asked her out.
The last two years have been the most amazing, the most complete, the most difficult, and the most rewarding years of my life so far. I could never imagine my life with anyone else, which is a tad ironic since I spent so much time years ago trying to do just that. We compliment each other so differently than I ever thought I would compliment my spouse. We’re such different people in all the ways I always thought would matter the most but don’t, and are arm-in-arm when it comes to the things that really matter. It fascinates me how when I see her now I see not just her, but us. I don’t think anything can or ever will match the love and comfort I feel when I see her smiling at me, when she hugs my arm as I drive, or when she reaches for my hand when we’re both barely awake in the morning.
Rather than venture off into more stories and memories and feelings and droning on forever in my blog when those things are better left between us, I’ll take you on a quick photo journey through the friendship and love of Braden and Dona.
Happy anniversary, Dona B. I’m glad I get to keep you.