It has been nearly 32 years since my husband and I met at a neighborhood party. When we first started seeing each other, I had no idea where the relationship would go, but I suspected it would be an important one. I was lucky —we were lucky — to be in the same place at the same time, and in a situation that allowed us to connect.
Two years later, on a cold, rainy, November afternoon, we exchanged wedding vows.
I took the above photo while visiting some old friends whose relationship probably dates back to about the time I was born. I first met them when I was five years old, and they were a young, married couple with two careers, and one small child. Now in their eighties, they are, to all appearances, still good together.
It is impossible to know what goes on inside someone else’s marriage, but I’m guessing that they nurtured a healthy relationship while developing careers and raising five children by bending —sometimes towards each other, sometimes in opposite directions. Whichever way they curled, however, each knew that the other would be there to catch them.
When I was a kid I spent a lot of time at their house. Even with the chaos that comes with a big family, even if there was yelling, there were times when it felt safer than my own home across the street.
Ever since Paul and I have been together, home has been where he is, and there is no place I’d rather be. He is my best friend, my cheerleader, my teacher, my student, and I am all of those things to him. Even though we fill each of those roles differently, and life together isn’t always perfect or pretty, I am sure of our partnership because we discuss it often.
He can fix almost anything, including a sore heart. He holds my heart in his big, capable hands every day, gently, and with great care.
We are closer than those two pillars and just as strong. Our bodies may be less supple than they were 30 years ago, but in our life together we’ve become more flexible. Unlike those pillars, we are not made of stone: We can bend.
Friendship is also the topic of my guest post this week on Daily Plate of Crazy. Click here to read it.