It was 21 years ago on a night just like tonight.....(my family understands this reference)
Really it was in the morning hours, in Oakland, CA, where Harold and I were sealed. If you had known us then you would know that Harold was pretty freaked out at the idea of getting married...worrying about whether or not I was the right decision. He cried (the first time I had ever seen him cry) on the way to the temple, telling me he KNEW I was the right choice. And as soon as we walked out of the temple he had a sweet smile on his face and told me how glad he was that we were married. Even though some of my pre-wedding memories are pretty traumatic, I have other very sweet memories of that day. I know I made the right choice and I hope Harold still feels the same.
I heard a radio segment today wherein people were supposed to text into the show to tell how their spouse has changed them for the better. Pretty appropriate topic for me today of all days. I've decided to name a few ways that Harold has changed me for the better. Or maybe these are really things that Harold does for me that make me feel loved.
The Top 21 Reasons I love Harold, for our 21st Anniversary
1. He helps me understand that others have their agency and that I cannot control them.
2. He makes me feel wanted and needed when he takes me out on dates every.single.week.
3. He quietly lives the gospel and by doing this encourages me to do the same.
4. He has always insisted that I drive the newer car. This makes me feel safe and loved.
5. We have fallen into a routine of who does what around the house and while either of us would gladly step in to each other's roles when needed, we are both very glad the other takes care of certain things. E.G. Harold does yard work, I do laundry.
6. He insists we have getaways to help our minds reset and to show each other we prioritize our marriage.
7. He apologizes quickly.
8. He accepts my weaknesses and forgives easily.
9. He insists on family prayer, scripture study and family home evening. I had no idea how rare this is, even among those who know.
10. He is real. He isn't perfect and I love that about him.
11. He is ultra supportive in making sure I spend time with my family. He even sleeps over at my parents house when asked...with zero complaint.
12. He spends hours serving others. Think Christmas Day where he didn't even open the box to his new gadget until he had spent HOURS removing snow from my parents driveway and sidewalks.
13. He is my rock when anxiety sweeps through my mind. He reminds me that things will get better.
14. When we vacation together, we are completely in sync. We rest, we sightsee, we eat. It's nice that we have the same traveling rhythms.
15. He gave me pretty much the most beautiful children on the planet. Thanks hon!
16. He supports me in callings and in any dream I have. He wanted me to finish my degree and even though I started back for my final year of school when I was still the primary president and had a part-time job, he didn't bat an eye. He just loved me and told me I could do it.
17. He listens to my complaints and empathizes with me. He hears me.
18. He has always loved and respected his mother. I noticed this the first time I met Georgia. We were preparing for Brice's wedding and reception at the house and Harold jumped right in and started working from sun up to sun down. He knew what his mother needed and he made sure he supported her. I always knew he would take care of a wife in the same way...anticipate needs and make sure those needs are met.
19. He works HARD. I always knew he would take a job anywhere and do anything to support our family so I never worried about a layoff. This past year when he was laid off he was at the employment center almost every day firing off resumes and making contacts. I was super proud of him for being such a hard worker but also proud of him that he wouldn't take a couple of jobs that just did not suit him. I know it was hard for him to turn down a couple of those jobs because we didn't have anything else lined up. But he has really come into his own and realizes what his strengths and talents are and waited until a job came that fit him. Not only does he work hard outside the home, he is constantly working at home. He cleans, he cooks, he fixes.
20. For our 20th anniversary he insisted we do something big to celebrate. We ended up getting some money that was unexpected and while we probably should have paid down some debt, he insisted we go somewhere amazing. Then two weeks later we were on a plane to Paris. I didn't think we needed to be anxious to go...why not wait until spring time? But Harold was sure if we didn't take advantage at that moment, that the opportunity would pass us by. And he was right. With the layoff we never would have gone to Paris if we had not gone when we did. And we had a fabulous time! (see #14)
21. For 21 years this man has loved me fiercely. He has always made me feel secure in our relationship. He and I have set some marital rules to help ensure we stay strong together and he sticks to those rules. Even though my imperfections can sometimes be so obvious, he doesn't care. He loves me anyway. He not only loves me, he likes me. And I like him. He is my best friend. I am grateful every day for Harold.
I love you Lima!