14 years together. 5113 days I’ve pledged myself to you, threading my heart to you in neat, tidy stitches meant to last a lifetime. They’ve been picked at, worried over, and stretched across the globe, but the line holds. Did you know the modern anniversary gift for 14 years is gold jewelry? I checked, in a mad rush to consider how we would commemorate these 14 years, two days before the actual occasion.
Did you also know that gold is considered a ductile metal, a shape shifter, capable of being hammered to a translucent sheen, or drawn out into whisper thin threads?
ductile: able to undergo change of form without breaking
This life, this marriage of ours, it is a shape-shifter. We’ve been hammered thin, translucent with emotion, grief, and worry. Drawn out impossibly thin, until it seems we must break. When you lay your head down again and again, half a world apart, it feels impossible to be whole again, impossible to feel safe and certain that hello again is a given. You’re our center of gravity, and we are a peculiar constellation, bereft without you when you go.
Four times you did go, and four times we said hello again, and by the grace of God we remain, threaded together, choosing each other through the grief and the joy, the tearing of roots, and the muddy, chaotic life of parenting in the trenches. Even now, in the aftermath of all the goodbyes, we are still hammered thin with the every day business of trying to be okay.
But the thing is, this shape-shifting, this change of form, it’s traditionally done in the service of art, of creation, of beauty.
And this life, this love we have, it is a thing of beauty. All hammered and twisted into shapes so intertwined we don’t know where one person ends and the other begins. All I know is, I’m not me without you. And all these shapes forged of fear and worry and immense loss, they bear too, the imprint of our joy.
Happy Anniversary love. I know now from the first moment we said “I do,” each minute, each breath together is a treasure. Here’s to four, or fourteen, or forty more. I love you more than I did yesterday and less than I will tomorrow.