Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our 35th Anniversary

On August 23, 1974, you made a promise to me. You promised to take me, to have me and to hold me from that day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love me and to cherish me, until death do us part.

For thirty-five years, you have never broken that promise. Not once. No matter what I did, or what I did not do but should have done.

It was easy to have me and to hold me for the better, but you had me and held me for the worse as well. A lot of worse. Without thought for your own well-being, but for mine. When you came to Family Week at the alcohol treatment center you said, “I thought I was here to help you. If I had known it was to help me, I would not have come.”

And that broke my heart when I realized how badly I had broken your heart. How I had ignored your needs and wants for my own. You were always giving your Self away but never, ever taking anything for your Self in return.

But it was those two broken hearts, yours and mine together, that gave me the will, the strength, and the courage to change—so that, for the first time, I might give back some of the Self you always gave so freely to me.

I wanted to give you love, and respect, and comfort, I wanted to protect you from your fears—all the things I never knew how to give to anyone. Most of all, I wanted to restore the trust you gave me with your marriage promise because, without it, anything I ever tried to give would be suspect, hollow, and untrustworthy.

Twenty-one years of sobriety later, I think I have regained your trust, and I think I have given you some of the things I promised to give: To take, to have, to hold, to love, and to cherish you, until death do us part.

And I'm still working on it.

* * * * *

For the first time ever in Blogville, please meet Martha. (The photo can be enlarged by clicking on it.)


Dictator, nurse, best friend, lover

I love you,

25 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, I am all sniffly and teary now!

Congratulations to both of you.

And it is so nice to put a face to a name! Martha, you rock!

Stinkypaw said...

Nice to finally meet Martha! Congrats to both of you on this milestone, 35 years, wow! I can only hope we make it there (we started late!).

Also, félicitations on your 21st - both are great accomplishments - keep it up and warm hugs to both of you! Congrats again!

PI said...

How can I not comment on such a heartwarming and inspiring story.
You deserve each other and may you have many more happy years together.

Kim Ayres said...

Congratulations!!!

And hello Martha!!!

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

Hello to Martha.

Congrats on your anniversary! 35 years wow. I hope you have a great day celebrating.

And good for you 21 years of sobriety!

Peter S. said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Martha, Charlie!

Kim said...

That was so sweet Charlie :) Hi Martha *waves*

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You brought me to tears, Charlie, with your beautiful, poignant words.

I wish you and Martha, the beautiful Martha, all the love in the world. Congratulations.

St Jude said...

Happy anniversary old friend. I like Martha, she's my kind a gal.

savannah said...

congratulations, sugarpies! xoxox

Kevin Musgrove said...

Congrats to both of you (especially you for having Martha around!)

I passed my 27th milestone early last week. Well done on your 21st.

Have many of both!

Joyce said...

Yet another tough, capable, smart woman.

Congratulations. I don't care what the challenges are, staying together is tough. Period. It's not for the faint-heated.

Joyce

laytonwoman3rd said...

Clearly, you are both Something Special. Congratulations on both milestones. And how nice to meet you at last, Martha.

hugyourkidz said...

::sniff sniff::

Congrats on your anniversary!

Meg said...

Happy anniversary, Charlie and Martha!

Mary Witzl said...

Being with you must have a significant upside if Martha still looks that nice and sweet after 35 years. Some people don't even look that good when they're 35 years old. What was she, a child bride?

Happy 35th, Charlie. We've managed 20 here and we're feeling pretty good about that.

Michael said...

Congratulations, Martha & Charlie.

Kate said...

Oh Charlie, that is a lovely post! Congratulations to you both! And it's nice to meet Martha :-)

Charlie said...

WC: Thank you, from Martha and me.

STINKYPAW: Thank you, from Martha and me.

PAT: Thank you, from Martha and me.

KIM: Thank you, from Martha and me.

SHELLIE: Thank you, from Martha and me.

PETER: Thank you, from Martha and me.

KIM: Thank you, from Martha and me.

BARBARA: Thank you, from Martha and me.

ST JUDE!: Thank you, from Martha and me.

SAVANNAH: Thank you, from Martha and me.

KEVIN: Thank you, from Martha and me.

JOYCE: Thank you, from Martha and me.

LINDA: Thank you, from Martha and me.

HYK: Thank you, from Martha and me.

MEG: Thank you, from Martha and me.

MARY: Thank you, from Martha and me.

MICHAEL: Thank you, from Martha and me.

KATE!: Thank you, from Martha and me.

kara said...

she's got good taste in shelly-type fish. i likes her.

Charlie said...

KARA: Thank you, from Martha and me.

Tiffin said...

The monitor is a bit blurry right now...good thing I can touch type. {where's the Kleenex...} Charlie, that really got me right here *fist on heart*. I hope you have many more excellent years together.

Good for you, Charlie, for having the sense to fight for a good life with your Martha 21 years ago.

Our 30th anniversary is coming up in September. How did we get here so swiftly?

The very best to you both.
Tui

Charlie said...

TUI: Thank you, from Martha and me.

Attila The Mom said...

LOL I'm not ignoring you. Hugyourkidz was me posting erroneously from my picasa account.

Again, Happy Anniversary, my friends.

Charlie said...

MOM: Thank you, again, from Martha and me.