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Christmas? Labor Day? "What holiday are you most grateful for?"
Actually, the holiday I'm most grateful for is a pretty mundane day for everyone else.
The holiday I'm most grateful for? It's not Christmas or Halloween or New Years (though New Years is a close second).
I'm most grateful for a seemingly mundane day in July when Hubby and I celebrate our anniversary. Yes, many people love celebrating their wedding anniversary. Ours has a little different story behind it, and yes, it ties back to my disabilities.
See, Hubby and I met back in 1990, when we were both in high school. Yup, we're high school sweethearts.
We made it through my high school years and his first Army enlistment. We'd been together for almost 3 years before we had a real date and he proposed that night at dinner. He'd already asked my stepdad's permission to marry me, was told no, and he asked me anyway.
I said no.
Well, not exactly. I said, "Not yet." I had a picture in my head of what I wanted before I got engaged and married, and we talked about that a bit. I didn't have a normal high school life - my dates were with a pen and a pad of paper. I lived for the afternoons when the phone would ring and I could spend an hour on a crackly land-line connection talking to my boyfriend over the phone. I babysat instead of going to prom.
I wanted to be courted (and truthfully, some of that came from the parental pressure that it couldn't possibly be a healthy relationship without all the "normal" trappings).
It all fell apart the summer after I graduated high school. Long story short: Some very spiteful people decided to concoct rumors that weren't true, and because we were young and not all that experienced, we believed them rather than talking to each other about it.
Fast forward several years...
Circumstances dumped us on each other's virtual doorstep and gave us the opportunity to figure out what happened. There were tears and apologies aplenty, but what came out of those early talks, was a renewed will for me to live, rather than succumb to the mind-numbing depression that was making me come unraveled.
On a summer day over 13 years ago, we dressed up (kind of - Southern Arizona is damn hot in the summer!) and drove down to the county courthouse for a small ceremony with close friends.
We haven't come through those 13 years unscathed.
Our marriage has been punctuated by infidelity, mental health issues (for both of us), physical illness, hospitalizations, and homelessness. We've gone hungry, wondered how we'd pay rent, and fought over chicken versus hamburger and how to discipline our daughter.
We've bent. And a few times, we've bent so far we thought we'd break.
But we're still here. Stronger than ever, despite some attempted influences to tear us apart. (some people can't be happy unless everyone else is unhappy, apparently)
I'm grateful for my anniversary because I have an awesome husband who doesn't give up on me. He's seen me at my worst, including the day that I couldn't remember who he was or that I was married to him. He's encouraged me to push myself when I wanted to give up and encouraged me to give up when I was killing myself trying too hard.
This is my blessing: A husband who sees past it all and still loves me for it.
And the holiday I'm most grateful for is the day I got to call him my husband for the first time.
Now that I've dragged out the romance, let's hear from you: What holiday are you most grateful for?