Last Monday Tom and I celebrated our thirtieth anniversary.
(Yikes! Thirty years??!!)
Because of circumstances, we didn't have time to buy each other a card, much less a gift, but his youngest brother and his wife surprised us with a cake, a dozen beautiful salmon-colored roses, a six-pack of Shiner Bock, and a funny anniversary card signed by everyone.
Later, after the Rosary and visitation for Pop, we shared an intimate Mexican food dinner with forty-plus other Shallue relatives. And sometime that day (or maybe the next... they all blurred together) he serenaded me with Leon Russell's "A Song for You", one of our favorites.
Father Don presented us with a certificate from the diocese this morning, congratulating us for sticking it out through thick and thin for thirty years. After Mass, a woman told me the first thirty are the hardest. She then shared (with tears in her eyes) that her husband died soon after their thirty-first anniversary.
I promised her and myself that I wouldn't take a single day for granted, but would give thanks for each day Tom and I have together from here on out.
I hope she's right about the toughest part being behind us, though. Lord have mercy, Tom can irritate me, and I know I drive him at least a teensy bit crazy.
But thirty years, three kids, and a good balance of tears and laughter equals lots and lots and lots of love. We're blessed, and we know it. I think we might just make it.
Here are some other sweet! moments from the past week:
Saturday: spotting a little girl wearing Minnie Mouse ears in church; your kids stopping to visit your parents in Houston on their way to Florida
Sunday: your kids arriving in Florida, safe and sound, without killing each other; being surrounded by family, watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and playing cards
Monday: remembering your wedding day; a photo shoot of your nephew and his very pregnant wife on the beach; anniversary surprises from your in-laws; joining with family to pray the Rosary for your father-in-law; dinner with forty-plus relatives, all at the same table (well, several joined to make one)
Tuesday: words of comfort at your father-in-law's funeral; friends who support you during sad times; a Twenty-One Gun Salute; helping to celebrate your nephew's 12th birthday; cheesecake; sisters-in-law
Wednesday: a rainbow in the sky on your way to church; a call from a dear friend; winning three games of 3-13; helping to celebrate your brother-in-law's 51st birthday; a call that your kids made it back home; safe and sound; friends who care for your puppies when you have to be away
Thursday: running after a week of sitting; more 3-13 and laughter with family; looking back at the photos of family over the past month
Friday: drinking coffee from Pop's thermos; clear skies for your drive home; a detour for lunch (and hugs and kisses) with your parents; the first sight of home, after two weeks away
Saturday: a morning walk with your puppies for the first time in two weeks; a few hours to catch up on bills and laundry before heading to work; a homemade caramel and chocolate dessert; falling in bed after 7 hours on your feet
Sunday: a blessing from your church family for your thirtieth anniversary; chef-prepared fried redfish, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower
...and don't forget it!