Twenty-six years ago today, in hot and dry Lethbridge Alberta, I married a young Michelle Herbig. The year (for those of you not close to a calculator) was 1992 and we were studying at the U of L. I was working part-time as the Assistant Manager of the Student Union's Pub, and Michelle was doing her usual thing of being an "A" student (she always did very well academically). We were young, idealistic, hopeful and in love. I think that we were probably not typical for our tender age, as we both had lived a bit already (I had spent a year in Denmark) and Michelle had travelled internationally as well. While we weren't naive and had plans for continuing our academic careers, we definitely lacked the wisdom that age offers up.
Fast forward to present day, and it all seems like a blur. I have a hard time comprehending where the last 9,490 days went?! (although I definitely remember the event that occurred 5,320 days ago, and am thankful every day for the joy that he brings into our lives). One thing that has changed since that life-changing day, is that we are no longer lacking in the supply of life earned wisdom.
It is interesting to look back on our life together and see what might have been if we had ended up at the University of Victoria, we would likely be professors. If we hadn't ended up at the University of Calgary, Michelle would likely have less emotional scars and I would never have left in disgust for the Law program at the U of A. But then there would be no Transcend Coffee, and Michelle wouldn't have had the opportunity to affect change within the realm of Children's Services in Alberta.
With that said, upon reflection, today is a significant day. We didn't really celebrate or mark our 25th last year, as Michelle's health simply didn't accommodate that. One year later, things haven't really changed that much. OK, that is actually a misrepresentation. In the past year, we have bought two houses, renovated one, sold another, and moved into a new neighbourhood. But in relation to Michelle's health, things haven't changed, and as a family, we continue to struggle and endure as best as we can, trying to live in community and amongst family and friends despite the challenges. I think this is the thing that is most present in my mind today. My wife despite everything that has been thrown her way continues to endure, and actually, more than endure she stands defiantly against her ailments on behalf of her family. I know she doesn't feel like she is winning, but like in war, sometimes all you can do is hold the line, which is in and of itself a massive accomplishment.
So on this day when we celebrate twenty-six years of life's journey together, I could list the multitude of attributes that my wife possesses, and list her many achievements, not the least of which is surviving the chaos that I am prone to create. Instead, I want to celebrate her toughness, her ability to endure agonizing and crippling pain and anxiety, her doggedness to continue to produce high-quality work product despite chronic migraines and clinical anxiety. In short, I want to tell the world (OK, LOL, tell the 25 people who will actually read this) how proud that I am of her, and how much I respect her for the way she has lived her life, especially these past few years! Happy Anniversary Babe!