I am sitting in a hotel room thousands of miles away from you.
I know you and my whole family are fast asleep right now. The house is dark and the fires that have warmed your evening are dying down. But I am awake and thinking of you and my beautiful children. I am thinking of how complete you have all made my life. I remember our wedding day and the hopes and dreams we both had. I am thinking of the sounds that fill our house as children play and discover and learn, and fight and challenge and grow.
Our life has been filled with so much joy and excitement and adventure. We have accomplished so much, and there is still so much more ahead of us.
My dear, dear wife. I wish I was near to you now, close enough to whisper in your ear.
I am beginning, after so many years, to appreciate the beauty and joy of you as a woman. As a lady, a friend, and as a precious gift to me. It has taken me so, so long to let go of my long years of being single and to realise that the greatest blessing is not in having a wife and a family, but in being a husband to a wife, and as a father, being part of a family. In loving and serving and honouring a wife, and in shepherding and guiding and loving children.
Crazy that something so simple takes so long to be discovered…
And if I know anything, it is that this journey of discovery will never be over. I don’t believe there is enough time left for me on earth, to truly know and appreciate all that you are. As our rough outer edges are gradually worn down by the days and weeks and months and years together, and as the rich veins of gold begin to surface, I look forward to appreciating your beauty more and more. I am grateful in many ways for the times of testing, because without them, the gold would remain hidden, and the deeper beauty of who you are becoming, would not rise to the surface to be discovered.
Thank you for your grace in accepting me as I am. The Grace of this all lies in the fact that you have stayed true after your illusions were shattered. After the nearness and intimacy of marriage had revealed – and continues to reveal – my weaknesses and flaws, you have stayed true. You are a promise keeper, and I am humbled by your wonderful faith in me. Faith that there is gold here, slowly rising to the surface! Thanks for being patient.
My ability to disappoint you and hurt you breaks my heart, and if I could change one thing, I would change this.
I remember how we began so hopefully and then we were ambushed by our insecurities and our unmet expectations and our fears, and how quickly the honeymoon ended for us as we struggled to understand marriage and team work and sacrifice and servant-hood.
But we made it through. And we are better for having endured those struggles – kinder, gentler, wiser, more deeply rooted, and more honest, with ourselves and with each other.
And now we are parents, and the challenge we face is to offer our children a world different to the one we come from. As grateful as we are to our parents, we owe it to our children to deal with our issues and give them a fresh start, a new “normal” that is unique and special to them, hopefully full of grace and beauty and containing less and less of the things that can so easily damage and hurt the innocence of childhood.
I love your passion for our children and for their safety and well being. I trust your instincts and your priorities. Thank you for being such a fierce guardian of their innocence and their potential. Thank you for helping me to be gentle and kind, to be vulnerable and be on their level. For equipping me though kind words and guidance that makes me a wiser, gentler parent than I would have been otherwise.
I can think of no person on earth, that I would want to be the mother of my children, than you.