to my beloved...

United States Naval Academy Chapel
August 6, 1988

"My beloved is mine and I am his."
Song of Songs 2:16

My Beloved, 
Today we celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. It has been quite the journey this marriage of ours. There have been moments of tremendous joy and others of great heartbreak. I am beyond blessed that you chose me. Who knew the adventures we would have leading us to this place in time? We married on the great Feast of the Transfiguration. God has blessed and transfigured our marriage time and time again through the years, drawing us closer to Him, seeking His love and wisdom.

When we first got married we didn't have a clue what the future held. What a gift that was, to live without fear, just taking each day as it came no matter what the challenge. Eighteen years ago our world was sent into a tailspin that left us reeling, questioning God and our commitment to Him and one another. We didn't think we could do what God was asking us to do. You did something that fateful day in June of 1993 that solidified your place in my heart until the end of time. 

When the world told us that we would eventually leave one another because of our daughters disability, you took my hands in yours and you made a matter what we would face. You promised not leave me or our children. We would bear this cross together. You staked your claim in that hospital room that nothing would come between us, no disability or challenge. We were a team, now and forever.

On this day, I honor you and that beautiful promise made so long ago. You have carried me through desert after desert when I thought all was lost and I could not take another step, you were there, holding my hand whispering encouragement and strength into my heart. When you chose to enter the church eleven years after we were married, what a spectacular Easter that was when we could approach the throne of God together and receive His sacraments as one. Such a blessing!

It has not been an easy 22 years and we have disappointed and let each other down many times over the years but the love we promised in our youth grows stronger each year as we strive to put the other first, all while doing our best to give glory to God!

Thank you for loving me no matter what dress size I am. Thank you for dealing with my Irish temper with grace and patience. Thank you for loving our children no matter what. Thank you for providing us with a beautiful home filled with tons of laughter and love! Thank you for showing up that August afternoon, looking so incredibly handsome and saying "Yes" to a lifetime with me.

I pray you never regret that choice!

Happy Anniversary My Beloved Jerry!