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My 20th Wedding Anniversary

Today is my 20th Wedding Anniversary. My husband and I won’t see each other this evening, but he stopped by where I work today with a lovely bouquet of flowers, a KitKat bar, and a Diet Coke. The man knows what I like. We went out to dinner and exchanged gifts Monday evening, so I wasn’t expecting his visit today. His thoughtfulness reminded of the many reasons I love him.

These flowers represent more than just a way to celebrate our anniversary. Our relationship literally began with flowers. I didn’t know it at the time, but a mutual friend of ours had attempted to set us up on a blind date. Jim got cold feet, and no one ever mentioned him to me.

He changed his mind a couple months later and decided he wanted to meet me. He found out where I worked and sent a bouquet of roses to me there. He introduced himself on the card and gave me his phone number in case I’d like to meet him. I was shocked to receive flowers from a man I’d never met.

My parents raised me to say thank you when someone gives me something. Roses are a nice gift, indeed, so I called the mystery man. We started dating a few days later. We were engaged within six weeks and married eight months after that. I had been married to my husband two months before I’d known him for a year. Every time he gives me flowers, it takes me back to my sweet hubby’s grand gesture of an introduction.

We’ve been through a lot, as is the case with all couples who’ve been together for many years. Each trial made us stronger. Our love and respect for each other has grown as our relationship matured. We’ve learned to roll with the punches, so something sad, such as not being able to spend our 20th anniversary together due to our work schedules, doesn’t break our hearts.

Honestly, it’s just as well that we won’t spending the evening together. I’ve caught a cold or some other bug that’s going around, so I wouldn’t be much fun. All I want to do right now is guzzle some cough syrup and go to sleep. I’m coughing, sneezing, and suffering from a sore throat. The dark circles under my eyes resemble a raccoon. Not romantic at all.

After 20 years of marriage, we’ve seen plenty of illness and injury on our special day. One year, Jim had an allergic reaction to something and his face and neck swelled up to the point he was unrecognizable. He’d been in the woods a few days before, so there’s no telling what he got into. We think he may have been bitten by something and didn’t notice at the time because he was cutting wood. The ER doctor gave him all kinds of medicine, which made him drowsy. We spent that anniversary watching TV. Well, I watched TV while he snoozed. The important this is we were together.

I think my favorite anniversary is the year all we really wanted was to be alone together. In addition to my two step-children, we had another teen who had moved in with us to finish high school. With three teens in the house, we were desperate for peace and quiet. So, we bought some burgers, drove to the river, and climbed into the bed of Jim’s truck. We ate our fast food and looked at the stars. We had an uninterrupted conversation without raising our voices to be heard. It was magical.

The past 20 years have gone so fast that I feel like I have whiplash. The older I get, the faster the roller coaster of life takes me. I’m happy to be riding it with Jim.

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