Next week, my husband Garth (not his real name) and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.
Married. 20 years. To each other.
Inconceivable, considering I've only just turned 29, again (ahem!) but, how did we get here?
"Look, we found a box of old photos!"
Because, I've never been really very good at finishing what I start (cough!) and 2 out of 4 of their baby books are actually, you know, finished.
My dad. My mom. My grandmother. They ALL looked so young. I managed to hold onto it (barely) but, couldn't stop my hands from shaking when I remembered who must have taken the picture.
"Why does Papa look so sad?"
My grandmother was married to a very (and I mean VERY) abusive man (in the worse sense of the word, really) so, I can IMAGINE what my father was thinking at that very moment.
"I think he was maybe just nervous."
With good reason. My father had a tumultuous relationship with HIS father-in-law (which, happened to be on a good day) and, well, the decision to move in with his in-laws must NOT have been an easy one, either.
"Was she married?"
Growing up, in that house, however, was MUCH worse.
Still, ALL parents fight...right?
Especially, with their in-laws...no?
"She was married, but then she got divorced."
Granted, I don't remember my friends ever talking about the police being called out to their grandparents' houses.
"For how long?"
Not as often as they visited mine, I mean.
"How long, what?"
Then, there was silence.
"How long was she married?"
Days and days without talking to each other.
"40 years, I think."
Doesn't matter. After a while, it all becomes a BIG blur anyway and, well, I just never dreamed it could be, or would be...any different...for me.
"She was married twice as long as you and daddy!?!?"
20 years. Married. To each other.
"Are you going to do something special for your anniversary?"
"Yeah, we're gonna stay married!"
Frankly, the man of MY dreams was WAY different.
"That's NOT funny, mom!"
Thank you, Garth (not his real name) for NOT being that man!!!