On this day ten years ago we started down a road I had longed to walk my entire life, and I had wanted to walk it with you as long as I had known you. But in spite of that lifelong desire to walk this road, I was ill equipped to do so.
Now, ten years in, I am filled with regrets and rejoicing all at once. I regret so many bad choices, miserable failures, and angry words. And I look at myself and at my failures and I wonder what there is in all that mess worth redeeming, worth salvaging when it's so obvious that I have failed. Yet I rejoice in our abiding love for each other and for our children. I rejoice in our family, the collective greatness that anchors us in spite of individual weakness.
This year I have come to appreciate the power of the family. It's something hard to describe. Though there are numerous examples in nature that illustrate how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, yet in the living of it, in the flood of the experience, the magnificence defies description. I love our family. I am proud of our family. There is safety in our family.
And so we continue down this road: now much better equipped and much more aware. We are a little worn but not jaded. We are refined by our trials.
And the most important thing I want you to know as we continue, hand in hand, is that had I known it would be this hard, I would still have begun that walk with you. Had I known the challenges we would face together, I would still have chosen you. In the mess of myself that I often survey, there is one shining thing to salvage and it is the me that I can be when you are by my side. It glimmers like a pearl in the mire.
I love you Kaerlig. Thank you for being my family.