Marriage feels like holding your hand outstretched, constantly. Maybe you're asking for forgiveness. Or seeking reassurance. Providing comfort. Walking together. Giving a gentle tug in the right direction. Holding out a hand to help your partner up when they stumble. It's a question and an answer, all in one.
"Are you with me?"
"Do you need help?"
I can't do it without you.
"Do you forgive me?"
"Can I count on you?"
"Are you scared?"
There's a vulnerability and an intimacy in holding out your hand to your partner. You don't want to take for granted that they'll be there, but they always are. It's an expectation filled with hope and comfort and the knowledge that you love and are loved. Their firm grip and loyal fingers say so much without uttering a word. It's a statement that sweetly murmurs, like a kiss to the forehead, I'm in this with you and you don't have to go through life alone.
I can't even count the number of times I've needed my husband's hand, but I know the number of times it hasn't been there for me - zero.
Sometimes I think about the various choices that have led me to where I am today and I feel grateful for all of them, good and bad, because it led me to my best friend in life. There have been times where I've been so scared or anxious or down in a deep black hole and before I can even open my mouth to ask, his hand is there.
That same hand that gently held mine at 18 has been there ever since. That's not to say that we haven't had our ups and downs. Sometimes one person grips tightly only to be met with the graze of a fingertip. It's a dance where one person sometimes has to lead the other. But that's what marriage is all about, right? You don't have to always get it right, you just always have to be there.
He has given me so much with those two hands of his. I don't know that I can ever repay him, except to hold out my hands in return.
So, my love, thank you for always being there. I truly, sincerely don't know what I'd do without you. Your hand is my safety net, my comfort zone, my sense of peace in this world and I'll reach for you until the end of time.