My dearest beloved,

Happy anniversary! I know that neither the traditional nor the “modern” gifts are words, but I expect that love is appropriate for any wedding anniversary.

We first “met” online, more than 17 years ago, in a community of Anglicans and Episcopalians from around the world.  In that online community we both found a place of safety, support, and encouragement.  Because we were surrounded by Christ’s love, shining through so many, we were able to become vulnerable, to reveal our brokenness.  We prayed for each other and supported each other during the darkest times of our lives.  Your prayers, with those of many others, sustained me through depression after depression, through 27 months of getting the meds right, through an abusive marriage, through pain and joy and everything in between.

When I started my first blog, you were there, reading and leaving encouraging comments for me.  You took part in our silly blog of horrible haiku.  You called me super-cool when you learned I love Pearls Before Swine.  I followed your work, as you played organ in one church and then another.  When you posted the music you’d written on your website, I was proud for you and wished I could hear them sung.

Even from 700 miles away, I knew you as stalwart, loyal, funny, sweet, faithful, anxious, supportive, compassionate.  You remain all of these today, rich of character and deep in spirit.  Your faith inspires and challenges me. Your love makes me want to be more and better than I am.  I struggle to imagine life without you, who have been my friend, my husband, my wife.

And so I say to you again those perilous words: I love you.  As I said years ago, I love your creativity, your compositions, your sensitivity and compassion.  I love your willingness to be vulnerable.  I love it when you get odd little references I make.  I love your spirit, your determination, your patience.  I love that you listen to me.  I love that you understand me a lot better than anyone else in my life.

Thank you for everything you are and everything you do.  And happy anniversary, beloved.  May the God who entrusted us to each other’s care bless us with many, many more.

With all my heart,
Your Heather