The impossible truth is that it’s been eleven years. A second, a lifetime, a song, a story. Why do we measure our love in years? I have loved you twenty-six sleepless nights scrubbing a child’s vomit off the wall. I have loved you twelve long and lazy afternoons with our toes in the sand on foreign beaches. I have loved you six puppies and countless other critters, many of which I didn’t have permission to bring home. I have loved you in cheap and dirty apartments, I have loved you as we built a home with our blistering and bleeding hands, and I’ll love you even if we never get around to painting the bathroom. I have loved you three children gifted with open hearts and sharp sarcasm. I’ll love you three graduations and every quiet room in this house, even the unpainted bathroom. Eleven years, a second, a lifetime.

The impossible truth is in what we have weathered. This is the truth no one talks about. These are the days we planned for a baby we would never meet. These are the nights we made room in our bed for my depression to lie between us, wondering how long it would stay this time. These are the moments we sank to the floor in grief, the moments we questioned our faith, the moments we walked out or turned away. These are the nights you held shaking hands full of IV bruises and fear. These are the days your anxiety became another person moving among us, a person whose cost of living was more than we could afford. These are the moments our words were bullets, our tongues a pair of hair-triggers. These hardships are hurdles that won’t budge. The impossible truth is that when we cannot jump, we climb, we keep moving forward. We keep going.

The impossible truth is in what we’ll leave behind in the end. These are our greatest gifts, our exhausting roommates, our legacy of love. These feral creatures bring so much love and joy to a world that so desperately needs the light. They fight. They get loud. They run wild. We have to be careful not to take these gifts from them. So many adults have forgotten how to fight for what they want, how to get loud when they are right, how to run wild to cleanse their souls of the chaos around them. These tiny versions of you can learn to love like us. We can teach them to measure life in laughs, hold on through hurt, and just love and accept every impossible truth.

Eleven years, a second, a lifetime.

Happy Anniversary, Love.