Celebrating 14 years married, where has the time gone?

I thought I would know more. At every milestone I think that. What I really mean is I thought I would know more about how to not make mistakes and then have to say the dreaded “I’m sorry”.

A friend of mine told me once

“Ashley, there are some times in marriage where you and Abram will be walking the same trails and then there will be times when you will be on separate paths. It will be important that you and him trust that though you are on separate trails to trust you are both on the same mountain. Trust each other that you both are doing your own work to join each other’s paths once again”

Dear Husband,

I sit in our home that you work so hard to provide for and look at the memories on the wall. In our bedroom is a picture of our wedding day. We were so young and untouched by life’s strain.

We stood with friends and family, surrounded by 350+ people to celebrate our union. I think if we were to marry each other now the idea of a judge and a few close friends on the edge of a Montana meadow would be more appealing. None the less it was a party and it was fun! Times have changed though.

I reflect on the message our pastor gave us about the times in marriage when the spark goes out and its hard to see joy in the togetherness. The message he spoke was to not quit before it comes back and to honor the commitment not the feeling.

I suppose it would life’s most important trail. The journey of never giving up on one another and continuing to walk one step in front of the other was maybe his soul message.

We have had some years together that were filled with each other and self exploring. Years where we would leave for a hike, come home make dinner and have enough energy to watch a movie and go late night bowling. I hope that the youthful energy of our boys revives that part of us again. Years where the biggest argument was how much cheese to put on the tattor-tot-casserole. Yet, we traveled on.

The years of having a baby, Milestones, well check appointments, diapers, bottles… The joy of watching a tiny human grown before your very eyes. The joy of living and loving and raising a baby. The bone tiered nights and early mornings. Remember how we had the brain space to take so many pictures when Nathan lifted his head for the first time? I hope David will forgive us for not having much of him. At least until later in life. Yet, with tired bones and bags under our eyes we walked together on our trails.

There have also been years filled with the unimaginable pain and loss. Years that the unthinkable happened. Danica Grace. May she rest in the safety of her bear high in the meadows of heaven. And the loss of an innocence that family will be our strongest allies in this life. Despite the pain we walked our trails together.

Then the years when we hardly had time for each other. The diagnosis of Nathans Sensory Processing Disorder and sorting through a life with a child with special needs. Attempting to look for ways to help him find his way while we found ours. Reading and sharing and talking about how we could be better parents. Then David was born and he seemed to never sleep. Who took us all by storm, oh Mr hurricane David. This time as we would walk our trails, it often left more like walking through sticker bushes, battered and cut from head to toe pulling one another in the brush.

Today, as the cuts have scared and healed so many things have settled. We are both searching for the humor in our selves. Attempting to not take life so seriously, despite my best efforts. Most memory’s are full of humor and joy. The times of arguments and nagging are grossly out numbered by the times of communication and connection. I think pastor Don would be proud of us. We continue to strive for togetherness and also individualism. We continue to strive to be great parents and also be husband and wife. We travel together on our dusty paths to nowhere.

They say that the key to success is to make more right choice then wrong ones, that it’s important to fall and also rise and that its worth all the hard days because the good ones will come too.

I’ll say this I’m grateful to always be your right seat rider, I’m with you till the end, no matter how tough the road I am always and forever committed to doing my work to stay sober first and married second. I know that there will be harder days to come yet I also know there is undicribable joy to come too. I look forward to being on the trail as we experience the next rise and fall together and enjoying the view along the way.

I believe that times will come when our trails will part and the trees thick. My heart finds peace that as you do your work and I do mine our paths will join again however in the waiting I know we are on the same mountain, sober first, husband and wife second and parents third.

Yours now and always