January 2023 marks 40 years of life with Rock. We met as high school students when he moved into the neighborhood. The first time I saw him I thought “Wow! He’s gorgeous!” and immediately sighed inside thinking I had no chance with him. But, for some reason, he liked what he saw in me. I was a train wreck, though I didn’t know it. I battled depression and anxiety and terribly low self-esteem. He was raised to believe he could have whatever he wanted if he was willing to fight hard enough for it. I still praise the Lord he decided I was worth fighting for.
His battle was against me not believing I could be loved enough, not believing I could be wanted. I need to be very clear on this point. Nothing Mother or Daddy did caused my problems. There were other elements in my life that contributed to my problems. Rock only cared about loving me.
And for 40 years he has done just that. He has fought to keep our life on track and our children safe. He fought to drag me out of the depths of grief and sadness while dealing with his own grief over the years. He raised our children to believe they too could have whatever they wanted if they were willing to fight for it.
We live an adventure even now. Between the children, the granddaughters, the longhorns, church, hunting, fishing, living in the Big Thicket, river life and lake life, we always have something going on. We are still crazy about each other and he has helped me become someone I couldn’t have been without him.
I liken him to an ancient warrior. His ancestry points to Scotland and I am reminded that even the Empire of Rome could not overtake his grandfathers. I see that strength in him. He is tough and strong and yes, he can be difficult. I love the difficult just as much as I do the tender and gentle parts of him. I tried to explain to someone one time that truly loving someone is to love the dark as much as the light parts of them. To not only accept and tolerate, but to embrace the hard to handle parts, too.
Contrary to popular belief, he has a tender heart that loves larger than life. He adores his children and granddaughters. He stays on alert for any sign of distress among our tiny family circle. Anyone who causes even a little stress among us is forever excluded from his trust. He keeps a small, tight circle around us.
I praise Jesus for our life together. Rock’s faith in Christ, his tenacity in life, his passion and strength keep me grounded and safe. I never want to take for granted the love we share. I am ever grateful for his choosing to love me. I pray he knows how much I love him. We will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary in June, but I am celebrating our 40th year of being in love. I love you, Rock.