*The following is abridged from the 1,800 word original. I took out the dirty parts.
October 12, 2016
Dear Susan –
2016 wasn’t on my radar in 1997 – it seemed unimaginably far away. I already felt old then, although when I look at the pictures, we’re just kids. Nineteen years is an accomplishment – something I’m proud of. I would have said back then, “of course we’re going to make it to 19, 29, 39 years.” Our relationship was what I’d been hoping for, what I thought I’d been too impetuous, or sinful, or whatever other self-hating delusion I’d carried, to deserve before.
Here’s what I thought of you when I asked you to marry me: pretty, hardworking, talented; compassionate, because you served differently-abled adults and seemed to genuinely like them as people (and they liked you); great followspot operator.
Since we’ve been married, I can add that you’re a wonderful mother to our girl and two dogs, and that our political and spiritual views have evolved together – something that doesn’t always happen. I respect you and I have no doubt about the respect others have for you – something I didn’t know would become important to me, way back in 1997. I genuinely look forward to time that we will spend together, whether on a walk or a trip, or even sitting together watching a program you may or may not be ignoring because you’re knitting small sweaters. I still like seeing your car pull into the driveway after work – this feeling has grown over the years.
I love you and I like you. I haven’t said either of those enough. Going forward, I think I’d like to say and hear them every day. Here’s what else I want: long walks, deep talks, hand holding, movie watching, back and foot and head and ass massages, travel, great food, plenty of hugs, and of course the stars and the moon.