By Shannon Penrod
Nine years ago today we stood in front of friends and family and took vows that have more meaning to me now than they every could have meant then. I remember part of our vow was an Irish prayer that said, “You are the last person I want to see before I sleep and the first person I want to see upon waking.” Honey, it was true then, but it’s so much truer now. When you asked me to marry you I said, “Yes!” without hesitation, because I knew I loved you and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I’d already tried to live without you and I didn’t like that. What I didn’t know was how truly marvelous you are. I didn’t know it because time had yet to reveal it.
How could I have known that you were going to be such an amazing father? I believed it, but the reality is so much better. I couldn’t have known that you were going to love our little boy with a fierceness that takes my breath away. I couldn’t dream that you were going to be the type of Dad who calls me up from work and says, very seriously, “Honey, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and… we just aren’t videotaping enough. I just know that some day we’re going to look back and wish we had a camera running 24/7.” It just takes my breath away how wonderful you are.
The things you do to make that little boy laugh! Oh my! Yeah, other people may have Emmys and Oscars for their comedic performances but baby they’ve got nothing on you. The best laughs I have ever had have been of your crafting. I can not count the number of times you have made me laugh until I have fallen off the couch, been doubled over clutching my stomach and begging for air. You funny. It’s kind of my little secret and I LOVE to watch people who don’t know you realize it. For years my friends and family thought that because I’m funny you must be the straight man to my humor. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. I love your sense of humor and I treasure all of laughs we share. Thank God we have laughed, because we have been through some @#!$!
When I think of what we have been through in the last five years I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or wet my pants. I’d rather just hold on to you and tell you over and over, “Thank you!” Thank you for sticking by me, through Autism, through a nervous breakdown, a reality show, three moves, being sued by the school district twice, 2 summers in Southern California with NO AIR CONDITIONING, total financial devastation, IRS hell, a dead landlord with a crazy ex-wife and ever so much more. Thank you, because looking back on it, it all seems like a really funny adventure now. That’s because we were in it together. There was never ever a moment when I thought for even a second you weren’t going to stick it out with me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I can go anywhere and do anything because I know at the end of the night I get to go home with you. That’s my ace in the hole, right there.
I think back to all of the promises we made nine years ago. We’ve been able to keep almost all of them. Yes, a few of our dreams got differed because of a little thing called Autism. We haven’t been able to do all of the “couple” things we would have loved to. Even this morning, you’re off to take Jem to Harry Potter Camp, while I’m staying home to tackle the garage in preparation for yet another move next week. It’s not the big romantic anniversary we would have planned nine years ago. It may not be what others would choose, but I don’t care. I want you to know that I still choose you, I still choose us. I love our life, our love our little family and I love being on this adventure with you. I love you and I love the way you love me. I never, ever thought I would have that. Thank you for making our story a love story.
Happy Anniversary Love!