I would like to apologize to my handful of loyal readers for the absence of a story post today.
Today marks the 20 years of marriage to a woman that has made my life joyful and complete. Twenty-one years ago I found myself homeless. She offered me a couch to sleep on and a roof over my head till I got back on my feet. I left Kansas City carrying everything I owned in an old airmail bag. I walked from downtown KC to Independence with that bag slung over my shoulder because it was a Sunday and the buses were not running out to Independence. I somehow got the address wrong so I got lost and ended up walking all over town trying to find her address. By the time I finally arrived at her doorstep, my feet were blistered and the cord from the airmail bag had dug furrows in my shoulders. I was filthy from being repeatedly splashed by cars passing me on the street. Inside I found a hot bath waiting for me followed by a hot meal. I think that was the moment I realized I was in love with her.
She took me in when I needed shelter and has continued to be my refuge from the trials of life as well as a source of happiness beyond measure. I know that I do not deserve a woman as wonderful as her.
Today we will be renewing our wedding vows. A lot has changed since the first time we stood before a minister and said our vows. Friends have come and gone, family members have passed on. Five presidential elections, terrorist attacks and a war that is still keeping American soldiers away from their homes even after 8 years. We've buried 3 dogs and 4 cats, have had seven changes of address, twenty cars, ten job changes and even a new set of wedding bands in 1999. We have been through sickness and health, car fires, flooded apartments, financial security and poverty. Rolling pennies for gas and eating nothing but rice for a month. We have experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage, the loss of our first daughter Jordan and the joy of the births of our twins, Bailey and Noah. Today we will again exchange wedding bands. The new rings are titanium to represent strength and durability, because amidst all the change around us, one thing has not changed, our love for one another.