Fifty sounds like such a lot of years, and it is. I recall that ten years married seemed a lot, too—so full of deeply held feelings, and all the unknowns that are mostly all ordinary now.

I consider the meaning of fifty years together and it shines undeniably in the faces of our children and their children, embodied in them. I feel their hearts—I know you do, too.

Our lives together mean something fine because of these connections. Everything became possible when you and I connected fifty years ago in Arizona, made our promises, and vowed to take care of each other.

Moments have strung together faster and faster until today. We depend on the sound of each other, the smells, the silences, too; and the texture of knowing where the other is in time and space—the sudden glimpse of calamity when we momentarily don’t know. We clearly take the other’s presence for granted, even when we tell ourselves we’re slowing down to treasure each moment. We expect our ‘other half’ to just be here as surely and essentially as a hand or a foot.

Thank you for your loyalty, consistency, stability, humor, and the depth of empathic compassion you almost never put into words but that you always put into action. I’m so thankful I saw that in you fifty years ago—what almost no one else possesses just so—and why everyone wants to be with you. You do not disappoint.

Paraphrasing a favorite poet:

What have you wanted from your life?      To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.

And so we are.

Happy 50th anniversary.