Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Anniversary to my lifelong love -- Lisa Taylor!

From our wedding day
in 1988. Smartest day
of my life, hands down.
Twenty-six years ago, this very minute, Lisa Taylor and I exchanged our vows to love and cherish each other, come what may. In a world where marriages fall apart as often as people's feelings change, we've somehow managed to stay together and grow deeper in love with each passing year.

I credit that to her, of course. She's amazing. 

And in honor my amazing wife and her years of deep love for me, I'm going to repost something here today that I posted previously on Facebook. Lisa, I love you and hope you never wise up and realize you deserve better than me.

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I was thinking last night how the nature of true love is to sacrifice yourself for another regardless of your immediate sense of emotions at any given moment. As I thought, I tried to measure my love for Lisa Taylor against that mark.

If I'm honest I've failed that terribly. I've sacrificed a great many things, but not nearly enough. I've got a long way to go in order to fully sacrifice myself for her good, her her needs, for her dreams. All the while, I've never stopped chasing mine.

Now, on one hand I could say that if I stopped chasing my dreams, I would cease to be the person she fell in love with, the person she wants to be with, the person who supplies the ying to her yang (so to speak). I could say that, but at least from my perspective (whether or not it is true is entirely beside the point) it is merely me rationalizing my own selfishness and unwillingness to put aside my dreams for her.

If there's one thing I've held onto during our almost 26 years of marriage, it is my persistent chase for my writing and publishing dreams. Sure, I may have let them sit in the background for a bit from time to time, but the moment I let my guard down, there they were again, driving me to quit one job or pursue some other, regardless of what that might mean for our long-term financial security.

Lisa's dreams are simple. She wants to be secure. And from that security, she would love more than anything to travel to other countries. By now, any 46 year old husband should have been able to take his wife on at least one trip outside the country. But I haven't. We've never had the money (ie, the financial security) from which to take that risk. It's the key thing that I feel like a failure in about our marriage. I often wonder had I never quit my good-paying, corporate job in the religious world, how many trips like that we might have been able to take and how secure our financial footing and future might be today.

But I'll never know. I did what I did to chase my dreams, and to be honest, I doubt very much I'd change that decision even if I could go back in time to have that option.

It's a sticky wicket, as the saying goes. How does someone remain true to who he or she is, and yet still manage to sacrifice all of that which makes us ourselves to enable someone else to pursue all that helps him or her remain true to who he or she is too?

Hopefully, it's a lesson I'm still learning, and maybe one day I'll know how to do that.

But, and this is point of all this relationship rambling, through all of it, Lisa has got this down, far better than I probably ever will. She has, time and time again, set aside her dreams to enable me to pursue mine. As far as I know, she has done this without ever really growing to hate me for it or hold it against me in any deep form of resentment other than a sort of annoyance. She has loved me far better than I have been able to love her.

Her birthday is coming up on the 11th of this month, and if I had it in me, if I weren't such a failure at it, I would give her the greatest gift of all -- the man she deserves, a man who could empty himself completely to pursue the things that are important to her that are at odds with his own desires, the man who could love her the way she has loved me all these years.

But I don't think I'm capable of that yet. I really don't. I still haven't chased my writing dreams far enough yet. Maybe one day I'll see that end, and then we'll travel the world together. Maybe one day she'll wise up and realize she deserves far better than me. But I certainly hope not. I'm still selfish that way.

Lisa, I love you as best I can. And thank you for loving me in a way that far supersedes by own failings.