I sat with Nancy in a corner booth of a restaurant. So much has changed in the course of our 25-year marriage. At the same time I can also see many things which have remained the same.
She is the same beautiful, sensitive woman I feel in love with many years ago; me just out of high school and she finishing her senior year. We met shortly after I had graduated and she was beginning her senior year. We have remained together through many highs and lows, through thick and thin. Our relationship has endured much difficulty and has been strengthened as a result. She has been a very supportive force in my life and in my photography. She encourages me and gives me honest opinions about my work and my business. I am unsure what I would do without her in my life.
We had gone out to lunch, not to celebrate Valentine’s Day but to celebrate our life together. She is my Valentine always and a day dedicated to celebrating one’s relationships is not something I need to remind me of my love for her.
The waitress came to the table and took our drink order. She left menus for our perusal. I knew my order ahead of time. I am a creature of habit like that. I find something I like. I trust it. It does not betray me and I order it over and over again. I reached for my jacket and unzipped the breast pocket. I pulled a letter which I had crafted the night before from the pocket and gave it to her. I love when she reads my letters because her head falls to one side and a smile slowly creeps across her face ultimately engulfing her entire face. She looks up at me and the smile continues to broaden. It could light up a room. My hand retreated the same pocket and this time I pulled from it a small box. I had been saving for some time to purchase a bracelet which I knew she would enjoy. I chose charms which would encompass the loves of her life. She pulled the bracelet from the box; the same smile remaining on her face. She struggled to fix the clasp on her wrist. I reached across the table and helped her. She said the same thing she always says, “Why did you buy me this” and “You didn’t have to buy me anything.” I responded like I always do, “I know.”
Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of our food. My love for you continues to grow with each passing day.
I said, “I love you!” She looked back at me and said, “I love you too!”