It doesn’t seem like 10 years since you proposed to me, but sometimes it feels like we’ve been together forever and I can’t – or don’t want to – remember a time before you were in my life. We’ve had so many highs and lows together – fortunately many, many more highs – that it almost seems impossible to believe that we could be so lucky. You know that cheezy “lucky to be in love with my best friend” song that makes us gag at weddings? Well, it’s true. You are my best friend and the only person in the entire world without whom I could not survive.
Only you would agree to do volunteer rescue driving in a blizzard when you were Acting Deputy Chief of your police department and had every right to be sitting cozy at home in front of the fire. Instead, we busted through three feet of snow on the BW Parkway with police lights on the top of my Jeep Cherokee to drive all the way to Baltimore to pick up the blood supply for all of the Washington area hospitals. I didn’t think we’d make it through at time, and you kept yelling “commit to it” and I’d slam the gas harder. “Commit to it” has become a mantra of ours over the years… and we have. We also got the blood from Baltimore to Washington Hospital Center even though it took us six hours round trip.
You have been my knight in shining armor so many times over the years that it’s hard to choose which story to share, but my favorite predates your proposal. It was when those drug dealers in our new neighborhood tried to scare us away – they didn’t like the police car out front scaring their customers – and your solution was to sit on the corner in your cruiser and do your paperwork. Even when they came and shot at our house while I was home alone, you got to me (all the way from your 5th floor office downtown) faster than the DC police responded. Of course, the Metro Transit guys who worked for you and heard that “shots fired at my residence call” go over the radio during roll call almost killed each other getting to our house first. All because of their love and respect for you. And then you were there and everything was okay. And that Saturday you took me out to the police range and taught me how to shoot every gun that might ever be in our house. When we got home, you displayed my targets on the front porch and told everybody what a demon I am with an MP-5. You made sure people were with me when I was alone til the bad guys were caught, and we held hands together in the court house the day before we moved to Vieques as those guys were sentenced to life in prison because the bullets from the shooting at our house were matched to murders all over the city. They would have gotten the death penalty if they hadn’t pled at the last minute. But it was our persistence, as a team, that got the police and the US Attorney’s office and the ATF and all the rest of the alphabet groups involved and resulted in the arrests of more than 80 members of the Taft Terrace Crew (a gang we didn’t even know existed in our neighborhood before we got shot at) in the course of the investigation of the shooting at our house. Lesson for criminals – don’t shoot at the cops at home. It makes all the other law enforcement agencies sit up and take notice. And despite pressure from above, you stood beside me and battled the police with me until we had satisfaction and a real resolution to the threat. We were a team even before you proposed.
Several years ago, when you got really sick and had to be in the hospital for months and off island for almost a year, I was more scared than I have ever been in my entire life. A few years of marriage and you might take one another for granted once in awhile, but a serious health scare and then having to be apart while I went back and forth to Vieques for weddings was awful. You’re my wingman, my best friend and my partner in crime. Don’t ever do that to me again. I don’t think my heart could take it. It would break.
You’ve taken care of me sick too many times to count. I’ve heard you ask my parents for the warranty on me, and I know you’re joking, but you have been an angel. And we alllll know I’m a really bad patient. You never left my bedside at the hospital for the serious stuff, and you’ve stepped into my wedding planner role to cover my ass on a few occasions too. But it’s the way you won’t let a nurse stick me with an IV more than three times before you toss her out of the room and demand a paramedic (your logic being they can run a line in a moving ambulance so they can put an IV in a stationary patient) is so cute. Nobody is allowed to hurt your wife. I like that rule.
I am far from perfect, and you love me despite (or because of) all my flaws. No matter what the challenge is, we face it together. We’ve buried parents together. We’ve said final goodbyes to good friends together. And we’ve created more than 400 beautiful weddings together that I hope will result in marriages of couples who are lucky enough to be even half as happy as we are.
Thank you so much for asking me to marry you 10 years ago today. My answer today is the same as it was that very first time “yes, yes, yes… forever.”
I love you.