Still First

Twenty-five years.  I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it.  Even after celebrating your 25 years as an active-duty soldier, the idea that we have now been married for that amount of time still boggles my mind.

Two and a half decades.  DECADES!!

Amazing, huh?

We were so damned young. On the surface of it, we really had very little going for us – neither of us had any education past high school, neither of us had spent any time living on our own.  You were a baby Private First Class in the Army, and I had a scholarship at the University.  We had potential; oh, we had such great potential.  But it was feared our plans to get married would derail a lot of that potential.

That’s what we were told.

The simultaneous facts that I was newly pregnant with Big G (surprise!) and that we hadn’t talked to our parents at length about how serious we were in our relationship probably did not help matters.

We were told by some that we wouldn’t last five years.  Some thought I would never finish school.  Some figured we would be destitute and miserable.

But you know what?  We weren’t. We aren’t.

My G, you’re still first.

All these years later, you’re still the first I want to laugh with. When I see something funny at a store, or I come across a hilarious bumper sticker on the road – you are the first one I want to tell.  I sometimes can’t wait to share the laughter with you.

You’re still the first I need to hurt with.  When our girls have gone through struggles of their own, you are the one I turn to for help.  I know you will understand that my mother’s heart is hurting, and you offer a shoulder even as your father’s heart aches too.  When the Army has offered us another “challenge,” I’ve known I could turn to you.  I know I can lean into your warmth, grow stronger, and then we can forge ahead together.  If work or friendships or other situations go sour, I know I can turn to you.  Even when you’ve been 7,000 miles away – you’ve been the first.

You’re the first I need to rejoice with, too.  When I got that interview for a dream job, or something went fabulously, ridiculously well, you’re there to share the joy. I know you feel gladness simply because I am rejoicing.  Your eyes sparkle and your smile welcomes me to share.

You’re the first I need to help me decide.  When there are big decisions about work, or family, or future, I turn to you to help bounce the ideas around.  You don’t just say what I want to hear; sometimes, in fact, you say exactly what I do not want to hear.  You say what’s real.

More than twenty-five years ago, we saw potential in each other.  We looked at our friendship, felt a spark flare up, and thought “Yeah, we can make it work.”  We wanted what was best for each other, and decided we would put each other first.

Twenty-five years ago this month, we committed to each other first.  First before friends, first before family, and quite often, first before self.

Here’s to 25 more years of “firsts”.




Writing Anyway

I’ve been calling it Writer’s Block, in all caps.  It’s been nearly a year since I have written anything here, or any poetry, or anything really.  It is not for lack of time, for I firmly believe that we make time for what we prioritize.  It is not for lack of ideas, since my brain is buzzing all (allllll) the time with ideas, thoughts, analyses, and feelings that need to be parsed, shared, or dumped.


It is obviously not for lack of writing implements.


I’m not a hundred percent sure why I haven’t written.  Overwhelm? Well, it has been a pretty momentous year.  Perhaps that’s it.

How about fear?  What if no one reads what I write?  What am I hoping to accomplish, anyway?

I think that last bit is the hardest for me.  I can blithely tell other people “write it anyway” . (Thank you, Martina McBride and Billy Gilman – amazing song.)


So now you see why I write, and why I haven’t been writing.


I write for that person who says, “Me too.”  I write for that person who needs to hear they aren’t the only one.  Even if I never hear from them, I write because I know the comfort of “me too,” and I believe someone out there hears me.

I write because otherwise the thoughts begin to spill over and become a jumbly mess.

I haven’t been writing because, sometimes, I’ve been concerned I actually am the only one.  I know this isn’t true because I have the blessing/curse/resource of social media and I can suss out “me too” stories like there’s no tomorrow.  But that is logic, and writing for me is anything but logical.

Writing is what I use because we don’t have Dumbledore’s Pensieve.  My pen and my keyboard are my wand and the words and thoughts and feelings are left safely on the page. I can always go back to them, I can always review.  In the meantime, the buzz-buzz-buzz of thoughts in my brain are relegated somewhere safe and secure.

So for today, I will write. Even a small amount.  And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow – I shall remember that it is ok to write small amounts.

And someone, somewhere, may be thinking, “Me, too.”