This Sunday is February 5, 2023. And on that date 29 years ago, I took a deep breath, watched church doors open at the end of an aisle and the love of my life appeared. She was all dressed in white and made her way towards me. Debbie’s Dad “gave” her to me (I’ve always hated that wording in the wedding ceremony-btw). A few minutes and big promises later, the new “Mr. and Mrs. Nance” were on our way. I know for some people marriage is a slog and 29 years seems like an eternity. I’m lucky. For me, it’s been a blink of an eye.
Are there things I would change that have happened in the last twenty-nine years? Of course. Is one of those things, who has been by my side? Not a chance. The day we married, we left our home state (Texas) and families and moved nearly 1000 miles away. And that’s the way it’s remained for the better part of three decades. We’re a team in every way. Debbie Nance is the best wife, partner, confidant, and friend I have ever, or could ever have. And don’t even get me started on her prowess as the mother of our son. There’s not enough space here to properly praise that.
Maybe it’s because we’ve been out of the country this week, and have had some time to just be still, but I’ve had a lot of time to really think about how blessed I am to have her in my life. Marriage for me has two phases. The first is, “I can’t believe she’s in my life.” The second is, “I can’t imagine my life without her in it.” Twenty-nine years. Some people see that number and think, “Living with the same person for THAT long? What a nightmare.” And I get it. And I feel for those. For me, it’s a been a dream. A dream that continues every day. And each day when I wake up and think that it was only a dream, the first thing I see is her face, and I know better.
What follows below is a whole lot of then and now of us that I found hiding on my phone. I know there have been some tears along the way, but the smiles have far outweighed them. And these captured here are but a fraction.
Happy Anniversary, Baby. I love you…then, now, and always.