There is a lot of hurt in our nation at this time, but I’d like to take a moment to be indulgent and talk about a constant beacon of happiness in my life.
Yesterday, Alison Eggleston Ortega and I celebrated 19 years of marriage. Here is my journal entry for this morning:
Our anniversary celebration was very subdued due to the coronavirus pandemic going on around us. Still, we had a chance to be alone. I asked her if she still wanted to be married moving forward and she said yes. I asked if there was anything I could do better as a husband moving forward, but she had nothing to offer me. Simple questions with even simpler answers that brought tremendous joy to my heart.
I am still madly in love with my bride. In my eyes, her beauty has not faded over time, but rather been amplified. She has a beauty I did not know was possible when we married. I find myself now enthralled far more than I ever was with any other woman as a young man. Time does that in a marriage. When mixed with love, it peels back the protective shield we build around our lives, revealing facets of our lives too intimate to share with the world at large. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, the untouched beauty exposed is greater than any witnessed before.
I now understand the saying: I want to grow old with you. It’s an insider’s way of saying: I want to fall in love with the pieces of you that no one else can see. I want to see that once in a decade smile, and if I’m lucky, that once in a lifetime smile, that puts the every day smiles to shame. I want to find your dreams peppered in daily plain speak, then give you the space and freedom to not only chase but also achieve those dreams.
This is what 19 years has taught me. I can’t wait to see what the next 19 will teach me.