It seems that one of Steve’s favorite sayings lately is “You just aren’t the same girl that I married,” usually in an endearing way. Well, duh, seven children, multiple businesses, five presidents, eleven seasons of American Idol, several homes, two degrees, births, deaths, neighbors, in-laws, outlaws, gravity, all tend to change a woman as she makes that mythological journey through maidenhood, motherhood to crone (more on that word later;-). Another anniversary has come and gone this week and it always causes one to reflect for a moment on where we have been and where we are going…. and how much we have changed.
Perhaps, a better word is expanded…. life has a way of stretching us and causing us to grow (sometimes in places and ways we would prefer it didn’t). When I look at old wedding pictures, I have to laugh at the narrowness of my world—and hips. Could we ever have imagined on that hot August day in 1980 where we would go…. the places we’d see the people we’d meet! How, like the Grinch’s, our hearts would “grow three sizes that night!” Our hearts have grown and our lives have expanded as we have welcomed babies and grandchildren into our lives, as we have been involved in a special needs world, as we have experienced the richer and the poorer, the sickness and the health, as we have immersed ourselves in the thoughts of the world’s great philosophers and thinkers, as we have traveled and met and eaten with people from every walk of life and every part of the country, as we have laughed and cried late into the night with friends, as we have experienced upturns and downturns, overwhelming joys and broken hearts.
A few minutes in the “Forever 21” dressing room, is always a reminder that I am not the same girl that Steve married. But the sweetness of a day in the mountains, with Andy and friends and the overwhelming sense of peace and love I feel, when I gather with my adult children in our courtyard and the joy I feel when communing, through a book or lecture with a great thinker, help me to realize that I am almost glad that my expanding heart and mind can no longer be zipped up into my size 6 wedding dress. Happy Anniversary sweetheart!