What I know now? Would I do it all over again? You bet. But this advice may have helped!
Today is our 16 year wedding anniversary. I realized exactly how long that was when I had to scan the photos in. We were married pre-digital age. I have been thinking alot about that cute couple in the pictures below today and I thought I would write them a letter on their anniversary.
October 9, 1993
Dear Bob and Barb,
Congratulations on your wedding! You are both so young and full of hope today. You are both all of 21 years old and I know you think you have it all figured out. You don’t, you don’t have a clue! But, WOW, you look great! Hold on to those images. You will never look better in your life, trust me, I know. See, I am you 16 years later and I would kill for that body Barb thought was so fat back then!
Things are tense today. I heard you had a fight the day before the wedding. Wedding stress. Don’t worry. You will have a lot of fights over the next 16 years. You really won’t remember many of them. But some you will. Some will cross the line to the unforgettable but it will be OK because, honestly, really you do love one another.
You are moving into your first apartment together. A cute little one bedroom on Northern and 19th Ave. Enjoy it! Some day you will live in a 5,000 sq foot house that you can’t keep clean. You will miss that little place.
Your first house is right around the corner. Boy is it a fixer up er but you are lucky to get it at your age! No air conditioning for the first 3 years except the wall unit in the bedroom. Don’t worry, you will find a lot to do in that little room. In fact, soon a little one will be on the way to join you. Seriously though, rethink the decorating. You get beyond tacky in that house.
It wont be long before you finish school, get real jobs and become parents. You will know you have ‘grown up’ the day Barb decides to quit her teaching job and be a stay at home mom. I don’t know what you were thinking when you thought you could live on Bobs salary then. But, somehow you will make it and his career will begin to take off. Being poor with a baby is enough motivation for him!
Soon after you will build your second home and try for baby number 2. It won’t be easy but eventually he will arrive and change you to the very core of your being. Nothing in the world could prepare you for the day he arrives. Over the next 11 years you will be tested and blessed equally more than you will ever imagine possible. You will fight, you will scream, you will blame each other and you will love and support each other more than a couple should have to. Again, you will be OK. You have each other to lean on.
One day, Bob who has been plugging along in his career will get laid off. You don’t know it now but it will be the best thing that ever happens to you as a couple. You will move to Las Vegas. I know you went there for your 21st birthday and Bachelor parties and thought you were so cool. Well, hang on, you are about to spend 7 years of your life growing up there. And, boy, will you! For the first time in your life you will learn to stand on your own. The family safety nets will be gone and you will be really scared. Then, one day, you will realize you two can do this and not only will you do it, you will blossom both as individuals and a couple.
And then your world will shake again and an opportunity for Bobs career will come up that you can’t turn down and you two desert babies will live in snow country! Just like in Las Vegas, the safety net will be ripped away but you will survive and probably thrive. I don’t know yet. This is all of the story I know so far.
16 years later you will have two beautiful boys, one a TEENAGER! He will remind you so much of yourselves. He is just two years younger now then when you both met on the stairs at church. Both of your boys will amaze you and exceed your wildest hopes. Barb, I know today you think you will only ever one love man this way. You are wrong. 16 years later you will love two more as well.
So, here is to you both! Enjoy your wedding day and the wild ride yet to come!
Barb-16 years later