Twelve years in …

Saturday was our 12-year anniversary. The following was what I wrote for the social medias, but didn’t post here yet:

Twelve years in. It’s like driving along on the ultimate road trip. The destination is way off. Unseeable. Unknowable. But no one in this vehicle seems to mind. Siri doesn’t have an estimated time of arrival. And nobody in the car cares. Feet up on the dashboard, windows down, hand out surfing the wind.

Twelve years in. Now is an opportunity to stop. To fill up. It’s a chance to stop for the night on a beautiful hilltop overlooking a beautiful sea of lights in the sky and across a landscape. To pause for a four-hour meal. A glass of champagne. A cocktail. To raise the glass and celebrate the now that is built on twelve short passes around the sun, innumerable smiles, cuddles, kisses, hugs, laughs, tears, curses and apologies.

To revel in twelve years is a gift, wrapped in the shiniest paper and tied with an elaborate bow. To open it with wonder and excitement. Because what’s inside is the warmth of the person you devoted your entirety to.

Twelve years is standing on the shoulders of parents and grandparents, legendary pioneers of love and joy, trial and tribulation. Their successes and their failures pad our feet. Their experiences, perceived and noted, are the roadmap for this road trip and their legacies make up stops along the way, and ultimately inform the hoped destination.
Twelves years into the road trip and we picked up a couple of four legged hitchhikers. No one wants them to get out, because we’re having that much fun.

Twelve years and other riders have joined the bandwagon. We caravan at times together and at times apart. We sometimes fight over who gets to ride shotgun. We encroach on others sides of the backseat. We scream, “Are we there yet?” And we bicker over the radio dial. But we remain loyal, together, hurtling down the highway surrounded by the protective custody of our vehicle.

Twelves years on the road offers the lessons of how to say, “I’m sorry. I’m truly very sorry” and it might not be for something anyone is truly guilty of. It was just the right thing to say. Because LOVE.

Twelve years on a road trip, getting lost for sometimes hours or days. Being frustrated and red faced in the moment. But looking back, what a great diversion. What a great experience. What fun we had.

Twelve years does not guarantee one more second, minute, hour or day. Let alone twelve years or even forty. That’s part of the excitement. That’s part of the thrill. That’s part of the glue. That’s what holds us together and these hands held tightly.

Twelve years and I’m the dog in the backseat, window down, tongue wagging in the wind, tail pounding on the seat behind me, unwaveringly in love with everyone in the car.

Twelve. Twelve. Twelve. Twelve. Twelve. Twelve. Twelve. Twelve.

I love you, Tina twelve thousand times a trillion.

Eight Eight Eight forever.

And ever.

Amen.

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