20 Years

The other day I looked at Howard as he was gazing out of window. The light was hitting his face at one of those photographically perfect angles to highlight all the best features and I wished for a camera so I could capture in an image exactly what I see when I look at him. He was quite handsome, despite the fact that he was wearing a green shirt I’d made the mistake of buying for him without quite realizing that it exactly matches his car.

Oops. All day he wore that shirt and I kept feeling like he was wearing his car around the house. But I watched him anyway because I often do even though I don’t say anything about it.

This is us together 20 years ago today.

I can’t say that our wedding was the best day of my life, because it was far too full of various agendas, rejoicings, and stresses to be peaceful. I can say that choosing to marry Howard was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It is one I keep making over and over as we muck our way through the various stresses and joys of sharing life, household, children, and a business.
As you can see, Howard took this wedding business quite seriously.

Very seriously indeed.

At least I had some inkling of what I was in for.

I have a smattering of photographs in between those wedding pictures and the green shirt picture above. I thought about digging out an array of them and creating a (probably cheesy) Howard-through-the-years montage, but the albums are currently buried behind boxes of merchandise which I had to move out of our storage room because the air conditioner repair guys needed to have more that two square feet of work space. Then I thought about drawing forth some larger meaning from the pictures being buried by work, but really that is just life. Things get shifted around to take care of problems and then they pass through organized before being jumbled up again for some other reason.

The important thing is that twenty years in, I don’t regret it. Not a bit of it. Not any of the dumb mistakes (see green shirt above), or the grievous mistakes (investing in real estate in early 2007), not having four kids, or buying this house, or planting all those trees half of which died. (Okay I regret planting that one maple in that one spot, but it is nothing that a saw can’t fix when we find some time.) Most importantly I don’t regret sharing all of it with Howard. I’m glad that we leaped together into creative work. I’m glad for all of the things I’ve had to become (stronger, less afraid, an accountant, a graphic designer). I say all of this even though this past weekend has been one of Howard’s worst-ever depressive episodes. For a little bit things were heart-wrenchingly, achingly hard. I don’t regret that either. He makes me laugh even when I want to cry, or even when I’ve already been crying. He’s brilliant and clever. He just keeps getting better. We keep getting better together.

Twenty years, that’s a good start.