1. Trust- A mutual trust that you have cultivated for the both of us. I know that your actions and whereabouts are never cause for concern. The only reason I ever look through your pockets is to save myself from washing lip balm or a pocketknife. My humor does wane a bit at those times. lol.
2. Faith- As a person that wants to be prepared for everything, you have taught me to have faith that everything will work out. With you by my side I have faith it will. You live your life as a man of God and make me strive to live our faith more fully.
3. Comfort- You have held me as I wept and hugged me when I was joyous. Your arms provide such comfort to me. Your embrace is strong and holds the power to heal. I bet you never realized that. I love to be hugged by you and love how you embrace others.
4. Patience- You really excel at this. I can be quite the challenge. You have shown me that sometimes I need to take a breath and listen. You have a special skill with people in our lives who have lost their path. While I can be angry, you allow others the space to grow and are patient that they will find their way.
5. Humor- We really do laugh a lot. I can't imagine a life without humor. We have so much fun together and I still find you so very funny. It's my great accomplishment the times I can elicit that all out, mouth agape, full on laugh from you. If I ponder our time together it seems much of it is filled with crazy antics and lots of laughter. How lucky am I?
6. Forgiveness- I learned from you that every hurt is not intentional. You easily say "I didn't mean to hurt you and I'm sorry." I learned that withholding forgiveness hurts everyone and helps no one. Sometimes no big problems are solved only truces are negotiated. That's ok too.
7. Freedom- I was so reluctant to marry because I thought about what I would lose. You gave me the freedom to be me. To pick up and travel when I needed to without guilt. The freedom to pursue what makes me happy. You gave me the incredible freedom to not have to always be on guard. I don't have to be in control of everything. That is so fabulously freeing.
8. Confidence- You believe I am capable of so much more than I do. Because of this I was able to do things that might seem crazy. I towed our rv on a 2 week journey on my own because you believed in me. I was able to start our business because you gave me the confidence that I was smart enough and could succeed. I doubted myself with both of these endeavors but you never did. I can't understand why you think I can do anything(except keep the carpet vacuumed lol). I'm amazed at how your confidence in me has helped me reach outside of my comfort zone.
9. Kindness- This is probably your best gift. You are the kindest man I know. The amazing thing is that you don't reserve this quality for only those you know. You behave with kindness in your every day reactions and actions toward people. I strive to be more like you as you often think to do things for others that I would never think of. I still recall a time a friend asked if I was annoyed you did something nice for another woman and my first thought was how I was not annoyed but embarrassed that I didn't think to do it myself.
10. Hope- I can often get in the way of myself. You can talk me off a bridge and give me the vision that tomorrow is a day to look forward to. You show me that it's ok to hope that instead of my disastrous visions of what could happen, I could hope and envision a much sweeter scenario. You lead me to be a more hopeful person with gentle persuasion.
11. Understanding- You gave me abounding, non judgmental understanding. You met me where I was in my life and guided me to where I am now. Our priest told us it was our job to lead each other to heaven. You took that direction and have always help me with my moral dilemmas. While some people would be heavy handed you never made me feel terrible for my imperfections but always turned to me and gently reasoned with me about mistakes I might be about to make. You are leading me north and helping me with my moral compass. Thank you so much.
12. Strength- When life has been tough for me you have given me the strength to get up, move on, or try again. You are my biggest cheerleader. You believe me to be strong therefore I am. You remind me of tough things from my past and say to me "come on you got this, this is nothing." Your strength is what gives me mine.
13. Love- A word that can be so confusing and hard to quantify. I have learned through you that love is an everyday action not a fluffy feeling. For you it is doing things daily for another with no expectation. You continue to love and act in someones best interest even if their behavior is less than desirable. It is an ebb and flow not an equal exchange. It is giving all of the above things to another. It is powerful, constant, and life changing. Thank you for giving me so much love.
So thank you so very much for loving me so well, teaching me so much, and helping me to grow. You continue to bring joy into my life. Our home is filled with laughter and is a place I love to be. The walls in our home don't box me in but rather lift me up because that is the life you have given me. I am a better version of me because of you. Happy 13th Anniversary. You are still and will always be my best guy.