“No story is a straight line. The geometry of a human life is too imperfect and complex, too distorted by the laughter of time and the bewildering intricacies of fate to admit the straight line into its system of laws.”
― Pat Conroy, Beach Music
Yvonne and I have been married twenty-five years today.
It seems like yesterday and yet it is a quarter century later since that crisp, Fall day when Yvonne and I exchanged vows and walked through what we thought was the doorway to love and happiness.
Youth gave us the goggles of simplicity from which to view our future days and idealism gave us the script we were to follow to fill those days, where life would take us through the necessary milestones and lead us to the happily ever after part.
Along the way we learned that the folly of planning, coupled with a destiny that would choose to go off book and ad-lib fate, it would alter the course of our story and lead us to today…twenty-five years later.
I don’t know that I will ever love another human with this intensity of feeling that I feel for my wife. She is the only person on earth who has access to the entire catalogue of emotions contained in my heart. She has seen me laugh with abandon and she has seen me cry like a baby. She has elicited passion from me with her touch and she has given rise to my rage with a simple word. I have shown her my colors for fear, bravery, wit and despondency and she has added her emotional hues to my color palette. I have stripped my soul naked for her and she has bared it all herself before me – even the not so pretty stuff.
And still, here we are.
Marriage is hard, oft times exhausting work. It will take far beyond these twenty-five years for us to peel off all the layers of complexity and access the dimension of emotion that define this relationship we have forged and protect ever so fiercely. And we protect it from a common perch and taking a common stance from where we embrace the imperfection of our union, all the while arguing about daily mundane things and finding new ways to unsuccessfully dislike each other.
We have given up volumes of selfishness for us to share in the expanse of joy that was allotted to us within the margins of our marriage, and we have also learned how two can become one and still be more on the scale of life, although counted as less on the scale of numbers. With us, more is less (but that less, is one helluva force to be reckoned with).
In Geometry, the given in a proof are the facts we know before we effect the solution. In my life, she is my given. She is one of the facts that helps complete the equation that today results in =25.
And looking back at all the facts that brought us here, calculating and counting all the givens we’ve collected through the years and looking through the goggles of experience, reality and nostalgia, today is a happy day.
If after 9,131 days together we still made our way to happy despite the detours and unplanned script rewrites, then I am entitled to say that today is our anniversary, our happy anniversary.