A Decade of Yes

Webster_IslandPark_June2014_303-1-XL Ten years ago today this man asked me to marry him. I don't know how to put into words the past ten years.

We were so young then. Yes, young is really the only word for it. We didn't know what we didn't know. And, oh, there was so much we didn't know.

I don't feel so young now. Life and circumstances have aged us and changed us a lot. We are not the same people who said yes to love a decade ago. And yet every day that we keep saying yes we find a love that is infinitely sweeter than when we began.

We have grown and changed together. We have learned and questioned and shifted together. We have cried and fought and wounded together. We have made choices together. And we have found in one another part of ourselves.

This man, that I said yes to ten years ago, is part of me now. Because of all the yeses that we have said to one another since that day, we are now one.

And today I want to cling to him. Fiercely.

I want to cling to the life that I have with him and because of him.

Last night I rubbed his back with tears streaming down my face as he swallowed a pill full of poison. Chemo has been hard this week. He's tired and nauseated. He's slept through most of the week.

This morning he left for his chemo infusion without saying goodbye and my sensitive heart cried soft tears. All I could think was I should be going with him. I should be with him. I can't not be with him. I don't know what I would do without him. I don't know what I would be without him.

I imagine that couples who've spent multiple decades together feel this even more. But, we've done a lot of living in our one decade of marriage. We've said a lot of yeses. And each yes has knit us closer together. We've shared a lot of life and love, hurt and hope. We are connected. And this threat of separation called cancer, it rips at me.

I had no idea what I was getting into a decade ago. But I knew that Bryan and I fit and a I know that even more now.

Marriage can be tough. Really tough. And marriages can die while both partners live on. Each "no" that we say to one another, each time we turn away, connection is cut and severed just a little bit.

I am so grateful that is not our story. I am so grateful for all the yeses that we have said to one another since that first yes. I am so deeply grateful for the ways that we have said yes to adventure and love and romance, in all the nitty gritty daily ways of real life. I am so grateful that even in the tough places, the heart crushing days, we can turn together and breath a sigh of gratitude to be together in the muck. 

There really is no one I would rather walk through this muck with than Bryan. Thank you, Bryan, for turning toward me a decade ago and every day since. Thank you for all the yeses you've said to me and all the opportunities you've given me to say yes to you.

I'm praying fiercely for another decade of yeses today. 


Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany

photo credit: Mikel Anne Photography