18 years ago today my dear one asked me to marry him. There was a romantic Greek dinner, a cheap ring (which I picked out), and music I'm too embarrassed to mention, but we were young and silly and quite madly in love and I didn't miss a beat before saying "yes". The wedding was 16 months later and things really took off from there. Amazingly here we are, all these years later, with a house (a house!) full of kids and cats and books and yarn and endless proof of a full life.
In Judaism, there's a system known as gematria which assigns numerical values to the Hebrew letters. Surely the best known of these correlations is the number 18 whose value means"life". Eighteen years may not be an entire life but I guess in ancient times it would have been considered a generation, time to grow from infant to adult, from innocence to knowledge, dependence to competence. Enough time for some profound transformations.
Certainly the simple future I envisioned all those years ago turned out to be full of complexities I never imagined. I've learned that I don't actually know everything and, in fact, I have had to work through quite a few challenges in my life. Growing a family, building a career, establishing a home, developing passions, saying goodbye--all of these I've done with the support of a man who I know in my heart would do absolutely anything for me. His love has given me strength to bring babies into the world and raise them, to face my fears, to question my assumptions, to explore new ideas, and to try and do what's right even when it's hard. Quite simply, he helps me see more clearly.
For this life, and for the man who's made it with me, I am profoundly grateful.