Happy 6th Anniversary, Philip.
I never imagined I would have such a wonderful life with someone.
Before I met Philip, I didn’t want kids at all. I couldn’t picture myself as a mother, and couldn’t picture anyone I was dating as a father.
But then I met Philip on a blind date. We met for lunch, and right away, I thought, there’s something here. This could really be something.
Maybe he’s The One.
I thought that as I gagged on a jalapeno in the sandwich wrap I was eating, and tried not to let him see my mouth was on fire and my eyes were watering.
On our second date, we went bowling (first and last time we did that) and out for coffee.
Third date? Hiking.
I think after that I introduced him to some friends, who approved.
Then we took a trip to Denver, where my sister was living at the time, because by then I was sure that I wanted to marry him, and I needed an honest second opinion.
Pam and John took us snowshoeing and skiing, and Pam says she knew right away that Philip was perfect for me.
She — and my whole family — adored him as much as I did.
Soon after, we were engaged, moved in together, bought a house and got married.
It was a very fast courtship, but maybe that’s just how it happens when you know it’s the right thing.
Philip asked my dad for my hand in marriage over dinner in downtown Cleveland. We drove to my hometown just so he could ask. It was important to me that we have my father’s blessing, and permission. It’s a tradition I hope my own daughter’s suitor follows, when it’s time (when she is 40 and I am ready for her to be married and out of the house).
We were married in McKennan Park on a Saturday afternoon, in front of about 70 guests. It was a beautiful wedding, and I cried through the whole thing.
Before I walked down the aisle, my father pulled me aside and told me, “Jackie, I’ve said this to each of your sisters. But you don’t have to get married. You can walk away, if you want. If you don’t want to get married, it’s OK. I will take care of everything, you just say the word.”
I hugged him and said I was sure.
Sure that this was the life I wanted. The man I wanted to wake up next to every day.
Even the man I wanted to have a family with. I knew Philip wanted a family, and I knew if I wanted him, I had to want that, too. And I did. With him, and only with him. This was who I needed to raise a family with.
And we are.
We lost two babies in 2007.
Jack was born in 2008.
Genevieve was born in 2010.
We have two kids, a dog, a house, a mortgage, a car payment, a porch swing, a mountain of laundry, a new bed, an old dresser, two cribs, yardwork, home repairs, a few bottles of wine, weekend plans, summer vacation ideas, arguments, silent treatments, make-up sex, rolled eyes, kisses hello, dish duty, breakfasts on Sunday at the diner, crumbs on the counter, our own quilts for winter nights on the couch watching television and a longstanding game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
We have it all.
Happy anniversary, monkeyman.