fifteen years

Yes, here I am,

having to process all these feelings again, dang it.

(I’m sorry, kids)

This past weekend our entire family traveled to Iowa for my brother’s wedding.  It was an incredible way to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary.  My brother and I got married on the same summer weekend, fifteen years apart.  I can’t even believe it.

I love these guys so much.  If someone where to ask me to name one of the greatest and joy-filled experiences of my life, I would hands-down, without a doubt, say “my siblings”.

There is no one else in the world who has been through the things we have been through together.  We all have our own friends and lives, but only we share the bond of blood.

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While we were there, we visited the cemetery.  We stood there to remember Brandon, stare at his gravestone, and mourn the brother and wedding that never happened.

We love you, Brandon.

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I feel like I’ve entered a new season of life.  Four of my kids were sleeping-in while I got to hang out with my nieces and nephews so their moms could do stuff.

“Okay, kids.  We’re gonna have Lego-building contest.”

I love being an aunt.

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Those little glowing rectangles,

I mean, seriously…

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I love this picture of my brother-in-law and my Dad.

Love you, Dad!

My dad officiated the wedding and did a great job.

THE DAY AFTER MY WEDDING, my parents moved to Iowa (they don’t live there anymore–long story).  My dad spent a few years as the pastor of a small congregational church (he’s not a pastor anymore–long story).  That would be the year my brother met his future wife, Laura, who lived down the street.  I remember going up to visit them my first year of marriage, and my brother asking me, “Beck, how do you spell Laura?”

He was making her a blanket.

Last year for our fourteenth wedding anniversary I wrote:

“Fourteen years doesn’t seem like all that long, and by long I mean impressive.  Five felt long.  Seven felt significant.  Ten was monumental.  Since then it’s been a blur of added years.  Honestly though, the years you acquire are not achievements, they’re gifts.  It’s the gift that changes things.”

Fifteen years feels significant again.  I am ready to move on, and when I say that, I mean to move on from these past fifteen years of marriage and all the pain that it’s brought me.  My husband and I were 20-freaking years old when we got married and had absolutely no idea.  I have spent so many tears crying about the pain of marriage.  I am done with all the feelings that this was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life.

As recent as this summer I thought, this is the year.  This is the year we are ending up divorced.  This is the year I cannot take it anymore.  Before we get in any deeper, I’m out. I imagined going to my brother’s wedding and having to face the terrible reality that while we are celebrating the beginning of one marriage, we are also having to deal with the ending of another.  I’m sorry mom and dad. I’m sorry to ruin your incredible legacy.

I honestly never understood how tragic divorce is.  I don’t know why, but as time goes on, I mourn more and more the all the deaths of divorce.  Divorce isn’t something I EVER imagined could happen to me, but as I look around, as it happens to more and more people I know, as I hear from the ones who have lived and gone through it, it hits me.

I want this marriage to last.

I WANT this marriage to last.

DAMN IT.

The past five years with its blur of added years.

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The past fifteen years and all the ways you went wrong,

from the very deepest depths and the bottom of my heart,

Thank you.

One thought on “fifteen years

  1. Aunts who help with the younger nieces and nephews are awesome! My SIL is like that (her youngest is 10) and that’s the reason why our July vacation was really possible–my husband and I would have been sleep deprived messes without her.

    I honestly never really understood how hard marriage could be until our second was born.

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