In Fifteen Years

Fifteen years…. for a teenager that’s when they’re dreaming of getting that learner’s permit and their license to drive.
Fifteen years…. for a prisoner that may be when they start dreaming of parole or realizing they’ll be there for the rest of their lives.
Fifteen years….at age 50, one starts thinking of retirement in those years and realizing that they better have retirement because Social Security isn’t going to be enough to live on the rest of your days.
Fifteen years….after 15 years, some start thinking of the possibility of retiring from their full time job–just to realize they still need that income and go back to work anyway.
Fifteen years…. has seen the anniversary of one of America’s worst hurricanes to hit the Gulf Coast.
Fifteen years…. some young teen aged girl may have finally convinced her dad to let her date.
Fifteen years….the number of years Mom and Dad waited to have me after trying so many other times to have a child.

Fifteen years ago we had FINALLY gotten the last of our wedding and reception taken down and cleaned up from the church, brought home and attempted to put it away before packing our bags (no we hadn’t done that yet) to go on our first ever cruise together–Dave’s first cruise since retirement that wasn’t on a US Navy carrier ship. We had finally convinced the family that after they dropped Dave and I off at the terminal, to drive north and out of harm’s way in case Hurricane Ivan decided to come into the Gulf Coast.

In the last fifteen years we have watched as other storms have come and gone through the Gulf.
We’ve stood alongside, behind or in front of them as our children have found the loves of their lives and joined as one in matrimony (or not for one).
We’ve been here to help pick up the pieces when some of those love stories ended not so happily.
We’ve been here as our children have married and given us some of the most beautiful, ornery, intelligent, talented, gifted grandchildren.
We’ve been together through the loss of 3 dads,(2 Dads and a Stepfather), as well as the loss of a Stepmother.
We’ve been a king and queen and thoroughly loved the year up to our crowning and the year before we turned our crowns over to the next ones.
We’ve had surgeries (expected and unexpected). We’ve shared the experiences of illnesses that will be with us for the rest of my life.
We’ve had years where there was more money in the bank and some where there wasn’t always quite enough it seemed to make it.
We’ve had our good days and a very few bad days.
We’ve laughed until it was truly painful and cried because physically or emotionally it was so painful.
We’ve watched our world change from what we thought was going to be just the two of us to a whopping family of 13 all living together under one roof.
We have been able to enjoy vacations together, just being home together as a couple of old farts rattling around in the house together, and the extremely few times that we have not been in the same house every night.
No matter what else has happened in those fifteen years, our love has continued to grow deeper and stronger. No we do not have parties to go to every week or month, nor do we have people lining up with invitations to have dinner or go play cards like we have had at one or another during the last fifteen years. We know there are still good friends out there that do have busy lives that just don’t have a need for us to be in their lives anymore and that’s OK. Life moves on and doesn’t stay stagnant. But the friendships don’t die.
I’ve decided we have reached the fifteen years where we can start slowing down and spending more time as just us and us with our family. There will be a time when we have fifteen years of just us–that would put us at 45 years together–and that’s not awful at all! In fact I look forward to the next fifteen years and the next fifteen after that together~ My darling Dave, I love you~ Thank you for the first 15 years~

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