Thirty-one years the journey….

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It began in a rose garden,
this journey thirty-one years long,
and I’m thirty-one reasons glad
for this weathered, wizened kind of strong…..

~for his beautiful hands with their firm,  kind touch,
~his quiet way,
~how when he laughs,  really laughs,  it’s music,
like my grandpa’s was,
~his fierce love for our kids,
~the compassion that rises up and takes him over
when  he senses genuine need,

~that he keeps learning,  keeps growing,  keeps opening to change
even when it challenges and chills him,
~that he notices nature  with childlike eyes,
~that he still surprises me,
~the way he cares for my car,
~that he takes life’s hits and keeps moving forward,
~how he wouldn’t quit on us…wouldn’t let me quit,  either
….the peacefulness that’s come,

~the way his eyes smile to me in a crowd,
~the feel of his hand on the small of my back,
~the iron-sharpening-iron way he challenges
with his oh-so-different-from-me-ness,
~the happy squeeze in my belly when we ride the same wave,
~the way he’s learning to be free about me being me,

~how we’ve learned to fight hard and often and well,
~the way his straight lines sometimes bend to blend with my wavy ones,
~the way he lives his own truth and keeps it real,
~his calm courage when I lose it and come undone,
~his humility when I’m the braver one,

~that his heart is tender,
~his prayers are real,
~his love is faithful,
~his art is forgiveness,
~and his story is strong,

~the way he loves his mama,  feels his music,  and lives out his love
for me real and raw and true,
~the way we’re creating something simple in a hard,  chaotic world,
~that our journey becomes daily an adventure more
~and though it’s a messy one,  it’s our story
~and growing still is the freedom to do life as we
while being true to the me’s
we both celebrate and see.

And I’m thirty-one seasons grateful.

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“Give your hearts,  but not into each others keeping,
for only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.”
-Kahlil Gibran

Comments

  1. Ah – wishing you many more years of love!
    Lady Fi recently posted…That golden lightMy Profile

  2. Just beautiful. A love that blazes, and soothes. A love to warm yourself with on dark days and darker nights, and a love to dance with in the sunshine.

  3. This one made me warm and happy and misty-eyed, Jennifer. Happy Anniversary!
    (Those lines by his eyes say he’s done a lot of smiling.)
    Connie Smiley recently posted…Morning PraiseMy Profile

  4. This is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes 🙂
    CherryPie recently posted…Armed Forces MemorialMy Profile

  5. Beautiful, Jennifer. Happy Anniversary to both of you! I’m happy that you refer to the “ups and downs” of a long marriage, because that’s real, and I believe a good marriage is something that takes work. We just celebrated our 37th! Lovely post!!
    Judy Hartman recently posted…What I Did in July, and Happy August!My Profile

  6. Congrats! And to many, many more!
    gotham girl recently posted…the chapel of jimmy ray galleryMy Profile

  7. What a wonderful tribute to him, to your lives together, to you. Happy Anniversary and many more!
    Sue recently posted…Comment on What’s on your easel? by SueMy Profile

  8. Much congrats on 32 wonderful yrs…I love these words:
    ~and growing still is the freedom to do life as we
    while being true to the me’s
    we both celebrate and see.

    So very important to any strong relationship!
    Donna recently posted…Creative ChallengesMy Profile

  9. Happy Anniversary Jennifer and congratulations oh this celebration of your love together.
    I’m so glad that you posted these joyful tender photos of the two of you. The now and then all intermingled in life tapestry of what started gently and stayed strong in the fabric of your life together through all these years.
    Beautiful tribute to your love together.
    Wishing you both many beautiful years together.
    Hugs,
    JB

  10. Such a lovely tribute Jennifer. May you two enjoy many more wonderful years together. Happy Anniversary! Many blessings!
    Wanda recently posted…With Just Mere WordsMy Profile

  11. Happy anniversary and congratulations! May you enjoy many, many more years and reasons together.
    Relyn recently posted…August Break 7My Profile

  12. wow..that was SO touching!! What a beautiful tribute to your husband and marriage…and I love the photos!! Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment!!

  13. Oh, how I love this!!! I love your photos, and your smile is just amazing!!!

  14. I’m so touched by your words; I feel your emotions in every line. Oh, that I could write like you. Oh, that I would take more time to write like me. You are an inspiration, dear friend. Happy Anniversary all month, all year, long.

  15. 31 years. Wow. That’s a wonderful winding road of commitment, love and life. Your 31 reasons rang true to my heart as we celebrate 20 in Oct. Ours began in a garden too. Xo, Kathy
    Kathy Anne recently posted…Quiet HouseMy Profile

  16. Look at the two of you, then and now!! Absolutely beautiful. What a lovely couple. Congratulations on 31 years of togetherness. Many blessings for many more years filled with joy and happiness. xxo
    Suzanne recently posted…Advocating… and the results!My Profile

  17. So lovely and it brought a tear to my eye so it did……..x

  18. sweet, happy anniversary. keep up the loving and laughing.

  19. Beautiful. Happy Anniversary you two! <3

  20. What beautiful words you write to express your feeling over the past 31 years. What a lucky man to have you and what a lucky you to have Bryan!!! May the love you share be with you always. Love to both of you!!!!

  21. I know of this special kind of love that you write about so beautifully here and understand how it sometimes needs to be fought for and always cherished. I wish you & your beloved more & more years to love each other and to keep growing together.

  22. Jennifer,
    You have an amazing gift of expression; thank you for sharing this tribute. Happy anniversary to both of you and CHEERS to many more seasons of love!
    Risa Poniros

  23. Oh, I love the photos, but especially the love that dances out of your words. Happy anniversary!
    Barbara recently posted…Lucky in LoveMy Profile

  24. I love every photo, every word of this post. It is clear that you share so much and that a good part of that is the joy of living, beauty and nature. No one could say it better — with more eloquence or heart. You are a beautiful couple and I send love and congratulations on 31 years!
    jeanie recently posted…Kidnapped!My Profile

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