10 years ago i gave you homemade chocolate chip cookies in a tupperware container - never imagining what life had in store for you...for us.
you had just turned 26 and i had been teasing you that anything after 25 meant that you were old.
that remained a joke between us until i, uh, moved beyond that number and we really haven't brought it up since.
i'm sitting here wanting to say so much to you, wanting to pour my heart out to you to tell you how wonderful, how amazing, how faithful, how loving you are. to tell you how much each aspect of your character has meant to me, how much it has changed me, how much it has drawn me closer to Jesus...and to you.
but, i also know the storm we are facing at the moment.
i know that wall that we come up against over and over and over again; it's relentless, it's angry, it's so very hard.
and all i want to do is be a haven for you. a place of peace and safety for you...like you have consistently been for me.
you have carried so much on your shoulders during your 35th year - more than i ever thought possible for one person to bear - and you have still remained strong.
i see you as a man of incredible faith and integrity. as one who has desired to trust in your Heavenly Father as you've had to say goodbye in such a hard way to your earthly one.
i wish, oh tony, i wish that i could make this year one that is free of pain, free of struggle, free of hardship...but i can't.
i wish that i could shout out for everyone to realize how incredible a man you are. but i can't.
i sit here thinking that to most people, my words probably seem empty. words of a wife who has an inflated opinion of her husband.
but i know...and our children know.
and Jesus knows.
and in the end, that is what matters in this life that we are building together.
and i want you to know that this year, i'm praying for peace. even if it comes in the form of a hurricane, there's always a calm at the center of one. and in His presence, i'll find my haven there...with you.
happy birthday, sweetheart. i love you so much.