Like most people, I had a tangled up kind of childhood. Wonderful in many ways, but kind of yucky sometimes too. I had a wonderful mother, fabulous extended family that adored me, but a father who opted out fairly early on, and some major financial struggles. I didn't have the fairy tale family. I wouldn't change my childhood, because it brought me here, and I really like it here.
But it wasn't what I wanted for my kids. And I wanted kids desperately. I didn't know that I wanted marriage. I didn't know if that was in the cards for me. I hoped, I dreamed, but in reality - I was more than prepared to have kids on my own. I was raised by a single mom, it was how I knew how to parent. We had an extremely unplanned pregnancy very early into our relationship. Tragically, that pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage of twins, and my whole world fell apart. It's tough to put into words what that experience was like. After losing my babies, I knew simply and absolutely that the only thing that was going to make it okay was to get pregnant again, and while I was far from certain that Marc and I would be together forever, I did know that he would be there forever for my child. He and I had lost our babies together, he alone mourned for that pregnancy the way that I did. I knew he was and would be the father of my children. I just didn't exactly know for certain that he and I would be together forever.
Somehow, without me ever actually realizing it, he just sort of made all of my dreams come true. I'm an unbelievably happy woman today, with a love that still surprises me. I didn't go into this assuming that it would be happily ever after. But it is. I knew that Marc would be a wonderful father, that no matter what happened between us, he would never, ever desert his children. I didn't know that he'd be my partner in all things, my best friend, my first call and my better half.
I had learned early on that relationships between adults were fragile, and tenuous. Sometimes they worked, and sometimes they didn't. And that in the end, you had to be able to stand on your own when your world fell apart. What Marc has shown me, over and over again, is that our relationship isn't tenuous. Our relationship isn't fragile. It can withstand three kids, two step children, joblessness, multiple moves, sleepless nights, no money, and even less patience. It can, and has, thrived in all of those circumstances.
It's our ten year anniversary tomorrow - and I never thought we'd be here. I'm happier than I ever dreamed of being, because I couldn't even fathom this level of trust and committment. This is my life, with this man, and I'm so incredibly grateful for it every day.
Happy Valentine's Day. I hope yours is half as wonderful as I know mine will be.