We went to the old Granger High School auditorium one last time last night before it gets taken down for good to make way for a place that’s shiny and new.  We went there to watch my lovely wife Amy play violin in a concert with the West Valley Symphony of Utah again, something I always enjoy.

Amy sings in a previous concert with the West Valley Symphony of Utah.  (Photo By John G. Miller)
Amy sings in a previous concert with the West Valley Symphony of Utah. (Photo By John G. Miller)

Amy looked gorgeous, as she always does.  But there was something extra special about how she looked to me last night.  She wore that special black dress of hers that’s pulled out just for these concerts, a dress that always looks fabulous on her.  Her hair was styled just the way I love it, long and flowing.

We were a bit short on time before she had to be on stage at 6:30 p.m. for one last practice, and the traffic lights didn’t help.  Amy told me a quicker way to get to the school, and I followed her advice.  I told her I’d drop her off just outside the entrance to the band room before parking the car in order to get her on the stage even faster, and before stopping the car I decided to lighten the mood a bit and pretend that we were arguing, raising my voice a bit and saying, “Get the hell out of this car!”

Our two children in the back seat knew I was kidding, and deep down Amy knew I was too.  She came across more disturbed, however, because she was afraid someone might have heard that and thought we were actually fighting (not much chance of that) and because she has sensitive ears.  But I gave her a smile and blew her a kiss as she got out of the car, and kissed her forehead again after finding her seated at her chair as we walked along the stage to go to our seats, just to pass along the message that I loved her and that she’s very special to me.

I looked at her often as she warmed up with the orchestra.  I found my eyes focusing quite a bit on her left hand as it worked along the finger board, looking at the ring on her ring finger.

Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio
Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de Matrimonio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t that long ago that Amy had been wishing so badly she could have something to wear on that finger to show that she was spoken for, going a few years without anything after her wedding ring had become bent to the point that she couldn’t take it off and it had to be cut off.  She walked around for a few years with an indentation in her finger being the only thing to let people know that she was married, or to leave them wondering if she still was.

I followed my heart in January and purchased a ring at a deeply discounted price that Amy’d had her eye on for a while, just to give her something to wear on that finger, just to let people know she was spoken for.

I followed my heart, despite the fact that any job I had at the time hadn’t started yet and when it did it wouldn’t pay much.  Still, it was one of those things that just felt like the right thing to do, like it was meant to be.  Kind of like my marriage to Amy was meant to be.

I followed my heart, I trusted my gut instincts and that small voice inside that told me it was the right thing to do, even as we were in the midst of one of the most challenging periods of our married life due to unemployment or under-employment, and I was still filing unemployment claims at the time like I’d been doing every week for well over a year.  I wrote out a check and felt good about putting the box that held the ring in my pocket, thinking about a good time to give it to her as a surprise.  I waited a few days, pulled it out during a Saturday afternoon meal while our daughter was with us, and asked Amy to marry me all over again.

Now, here we are — about two months later, I have a better-paying job, and things are beginning to turn around for us again.  And I sat in the middle of the second row with a clear view of Amy last night, and I couldn’t help but look at her beauty and that ring on her left hand that had special meaning.

When the concert was over and we drove home, our children were listening to Adele singing the theme song from “Skyfall” on an iPad in the back seat, and I couldn’t help but look in the front passenger seat at the stunning lady sitting next to me.  The lights along the streets at night gave her a different, even more stunning look.  It felt like my heart was beating faster and harder the more I looked at her.  It felt like my breath was being taken away.

I thought of the fact that Amy and I would celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary today.  The thought came to me that if I were going to be faced with one of life’s greatest challenges, I wouldn’t want to face it with anyone other than the woman that I call my wife.

She took my breath away 23 years ago today when she was about to walk down the aisle at a Seventh-day Adventist church in Pocatello, Idaho.  That hasn’t changed all these years later.

It’s a feeling that’s only gotten stronger, more intense.

I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life.

3 thoughts on “Facing life’s challenges together, 23 years later

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