I wrote a poem a while back about "The Girl That Got Away". In that poem I wrote about the differences between a teenage girlfriend I once had and the woman I married 8 years later. I remember writing about how I missed certain things at times about the girlfriend and how a lot of the blame for why she left should lay with me. I wrote about the sparkle I'd see in my wife sometimes that would remind me of the past but still. she wasn't "her". I eventually took responsibility for everything that *I did to change her along the way. With every lie I told, with every tear she cried and with every fight we fought, we changed our future and at the same time wrote a new history we'd one day look back on. I can honestly say that we weren't the only ones to blame. From day 1 there were (probably still are) people who expected us not to succeed. We had a lot of obstacles standing in our way. That played a huge role in both positive and negative ways and brought us to where we are today, both literally and figuratively. I'll always love the teenage girlfriend but since then I've learned to let her go. I'm happy with the woman she became because I know with everything we've been through, it takes an experienced woman to love me the way she does.
I wished my wife a Happy Anniversary this morning. Thirteen years ago today she agreed to be my girlfriend. After I did I could feel a tear began to form in my eye as I thought of all the pain I've brought her through the years. I broke the "I'll never hurt you" promise every guy makes in the beginning (although most know they shouldn't). I made her a mixed "Oldies" cassette (I did say 13 years ago), and titled it, "Baby, I'm For Real".
I know there're many couples who wish they could go back and prevent certain things from ever happening. Clean up all the "couldn't should've would'ves"and leave a perfect past to tell their kids about. Well that's me. I won't lie and say I wouldn't change things if I could. I know I can't and I'm happy she's still by my side. I guess that's the most important part. I remember reading one of those "Love Is..." cartoons from the L.A. Times years ago saying, "Love is...making sure the good times outweigh the bad." It had a scale with the good times outweighing the bad. When all is said and done I'm sure our good will FAR outweigh our past. We're here together to look back and more importantly to appreciate what we've built and work together for a better future for ourselves and our kids.
I love you, Anna. Thank you for every tear and every year. You've shown me Love and taught me how to Love. We're only 13 years in. As the song says, "Why should we stop now? We've got it going>"