Though the years have skipped joyfully along in no time, twenty years ago seems like another lifetime. We weren't exactly kids on June 7, 1997, but my, how we have grown.
Today is our twentieth wedding anniversary.
In honor of Melanie, and our twenty years together, may I present these thoughts about her.
- First glance. Quick poll: What do you notice first about Melanie? First by far would be her smile. A quick, ready, electric light up your room kind of smile.
- Sweetest sound. Her laugher is Infectious. It may be varied due to the circumstance, but it always catches on with others. And, to my ears, it's the sweetest sound this side of Heaven.
- Baby blues. Blue more brilliant the waves at Knysna, South Africa. Blue more captivating than Alaskan glaciers. Blue that stole my heart within minutes of our first meeting. Her eyes are indeed a window to her soul.
- Cornbread. Cornbread with sugar is cake. Cornbread comes from a well-seasoned, iron skillet.
- Tea. On the contrary, must be sweet.
- You can be right. As newlyweds, when we'd disagree and I'd always want the last word, she'd offer those words just to shut me up. She was wise, but it didn't always work. This is me she was talking to.
- Nursing is caring. Why is she a nurse? To care for people. An extension of her being. Sometimes she cares so much it hurts. As an RN since 1994 and a nurse practitioner since 2000, she has cared for countless thousands.
- Ebenezer. God provided us a baby grand piano when we least expected he could. I call him Ebenezer—read the Bible story. She doesn't like that name, but she always wanted a house filled with music. And by God's grace and her talent, it is.
- Fiery. Now, don't think that a lady who cares so deeply and loves so thoroughly is a pushover. She is passionate. There's a fire within her. Every so often those blue eyes burn. And you just thought my hair was thinning due to age; burned right off from her looking right through me.
- Whatchamacallit. The candy bar. Some days—you know the ones that suck out your soul and leave you crashing on the couch before bedtime—you just need a Whatchamacallit.
- Wonder Woman. Although she has no shield, sword, or lasso, mine does have super powers. You should see how easily she can soften a child's heart or bend a grown man's will. Wonder Woman indeed.
- Shelly. You always know when she is on the phone with her sister. If the rolling waves of laughter don't give it away, the way she slips so easily back into her sweet, Southern drawl does. She will deny this, but it is true. Ask our kids.
- Faithful friendship. Her sister is her best friend, but if you know her, you are her friend too. And befriended by Melanie is friendship that makes you better. Friendship is a gift; hers is priceless.
- Mama. Yes, she is. Seth, Mary Elizabeth, and John Mark will testify that she is the center of our home. How do we know? When she is out of town everything just seems lopsided. She's the balance and the heart of our home. We are daily blessed by her.
- Joyous giving. She loves giving so much to so many that we've got a line item in our budget for us, and the ladies at Hallmark know her by name. I name drop when I'm there without her just to hear them say sweet things.
- Snow White. Beware when on Disney property even without the dress or dwarfs. More than one person has mistaken her. Dark hair, porcelain skin, majestic neck. She's a princess for sure.
- Pastor's wife. Who has the most difficult position in a local church? The pastor's wife. Expectations abound while genuine relationships may not. Yet who carries herself masterfully in that role? This pastor's wife.
- Otherish love. I have witnessed no one love others so much like Jesus as Melanie. Her love is God powered, other focused, and self sacrificing. It will have you both undone and joyous at the same moment.
- Grace incarnate. When someone asks me about God’s grace, I am quick to tell them about God’s love for them and his offer of eternal life through Jesus. When it is appropriate, I add something like this too, “And another way I know God’s grace is real: My wife.”
- Smitten. Smitten is both the most amazing ice cream place we enjoyed together in San Francisco and the way I feel about her. More today than twenty years ago. And especially when she uses her cheesy grin.
Among all the memories of the past and dreams of the future that race within me, two realities reoccur: I can be a better man because she deserves better; she is an amazing lady whose love is grace beyond what I deserve.
Here's to twenty years, my dear. Prayers for decades more.
Now that you've read this and said, "How sweet," or something of the sort, let me share a bonus: Editor. After reading this gift I've composed about her she kindly said, "You've got a few typos in here. You want me to tell you." Why, yes, I do... She's the best editor a guy can have.
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