Early in our marriage, it was clear The Man dreamed of journeying coast-to-coast, strolling along distant beaches and sipping gourmet coffee in cafés nestled in the shadows of mountain peaks. He taught me about maps and compasses and sun dials. Many nights I discovered him fast asleep on the sofa, a road atlas pressed against his chest. I dared not wake him. I knew he was dreaming of secluded log cabins and old landmarks in ancient cities.
As time and duties allowed—usually once a year—he charted a course that carried the two of us to fascinating and enchanting places.
After our daughter was born, he worked two jobs so I could stay home and raise the gift God had given us. Still, he always made time and figured out a way to go and see and do. I remember pink sunsets along Florida's emerald coast, gathering rocks from a cold creek in the Great Smoky Mountains, riding the Spirit of Vicksburg down the mighty Mississippi River, marveling at autumn's palette in upstate New York, sleeping under the stars at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, and staring in silent wonder at the sight and sound of Niagara Falls.
The Man has always been a roamer and a traveler at heart and after retirement in 2008, our lives changed, as our travels increased significantly. There were sunrises over the Atlantic, sunsets over the Pacific, and collecting seashells along Cape Cod’s sandy shore. There was the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Grand Hotel on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. There was the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, and the National Mall in Washington D.C. I remember outdoor cafés in Colorado and crowded subways in Chicago.
Friday was our anniversary. We never know when we've made our last voyage, nor what another year will hold, not even another day, but for 34 years now, from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, to New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, and almost every Major League Baseball park in the country, I've been blessed by God to have The Man as my captain and my companion. Whatever the future holds, I can’t imagine sharing this journey through life with anyone else but him.
Adapted from the essay, "You must share agony to share the celebration," published in The Dallas Morning News commemorating our 20th wedding anniversary in August, 2000.
I find it amazing how prophetic it was and how relevant it remains, 14 years later.