• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
21 years . . .

21 years . . .

I have lived more of my life either engaged or married to David than I have without him a part of it. . . and I have no doubt that I am better for it.

This last 5 years, as we have walked through one crisis after another through betrayal and loss and the valley of the shadow of death, we have been forced to see each other with even more honest eyes – to love with grace and empathy, to seek the best in the other and find solid ground in uncertainty faced together. We have embraced the paradox of joy and grief sitting side by side.

My friend Mary says we live with many different versions of the person we marry over the course of a lifetime, dictated by experience and circumstance, hardship and joy. When we got married, David was curious and determined – full of wonder and what-ifs. He grew to become the roots that anchored our growing family and branches that sheltered us in the chaos of residency and young kids, a storyteller and cheerleader and support on impossible stretches of work. Next, he was a builder and adventurer and artist – a solid center in the middle of an ever changing world. Then, an innovator and light chaser. . . next a grieving son trying to hold planets falling out of orbit with his strength. In all of it, he has been a poet and an explorer, a visionary and a truth-teller – full of wonder at beautiful things and pushing boundaries of what should be possible. This month, on our anniversary, he is more introspective, wiser but still curious with eyes toward the new and extraordinary. He is deepening what is good and expanding what should be. . .asking why and loving with certainty.

Parts of each of these years weave through who he is today and have changed who I am. . .every version I have loved, and every version has loved me – bringing out different versions of me in the process – from the passionate, independent girl he married to one that is still her, but more curious, more vulnerable, more comfortable with paradox and exploration than she ever thought possible.

Here’s to the next 21 (and the next 21 after that . . .) and all that we will learn as we lean on each other. . .