Gordon told us once, part of the reason marriage is so difficult is that we act as mirrors for one another. Reflecting the good and the bad, as no person before has ever done. And that is hard.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately–you as my mirror–and just how right wise ‘ol Gordon was. For the past six years we’ve both done a lot of reflecting. You’ve shown me parts of myself that I didn’t even see. A lot of them have been ugly parts. Parts that made you say, “It is NOT Ok to accept this as who you are. You can change it.” The crazy thing is, you love me enough to point those parts out, and then stick around to help me fix them. To be patient when the ugly parts rear their head again, and even teach me to laugh at them.
Thankfully, you reflect good parts of me too. You’ve made me feel beautiful and protected and valuable and honored–things I could never have imagined accepting about myself, especially from someone like you. You’ve turned my cheeks bright pink with your unashamed love. Love that was embarrassingly, uncomprehendingly big and didn’t need to be apologized for. Thank you. For seeing something in me, that nobody else did, and reflecting it so brightly that even I started to believe you.
I am sorry for all the times I’ve wanted to shatter the mirror–when it’s reflection was too much. Even after all the challenges we’ve waded through…sometimes holding hands and sometimes both fighting for all we’re worth…I still crave every second of you that I can get. I am so proud to be able to call myself your wife.
One night, when Grandfather was so sick, I lay in bed with Grandmother clasping one of her cool, hard hands within my own. I can still see her small face in the darkness, reminiscing about a great love that she was about to say goodbye to on this temporal plane. She looked at me smiling and said, “Tell me dear, in a love so true and young, what do you love most about my Jeremiah?” A million pictures flashed through my mind at once, but only one word seemed able to encompass all of what I wanted to say. “I just respect him so much. And it feels like that grows exponentially the more I know him.” Her smile grew knowingly, and she patted my hand with the one I’d left free. “You’ve said it just right dear. I feel just the same way about Sam. And do you know what else? It won’t ever stop growing.”
She was right. It hasn’t stopped. I respect you so deeply–for who you are in the light, for who you are in the darkness, and for who you are when you’re reflecting all the hidden parts of me.