10 years ago I thought I knew what I was doing. I was marrying my best friend. And, while that was true, there was no way I could have known what the next 10 years would bring.
Here’s some of the high/low lights of the past 10 years:
- the loss of a job
- moving in with my parents (with everyone making it out unscathed)
- starting a successful photography business
- buying a puppy (and having to relocate him after the birth of our first child)
- 3 miscarriages
- two miracle babies (Fitzgerald and Enoch)
There are countless other things that have happened along the way. Friends that have come and gone. Different churches we’ve attended. We’ve traveled some. We’ve vacationed several times.
We’ve laughed a lot, and we’ve cried many many tears. Sometimes the tears seem to outweigh the laughter, but laughter and love always seem to have a way of winning in the end.
We’ve been through bouts of anxiety and depression. Dark places that we (or at least I) sometimes felt would never end. Throughout those times Danielle never gave up on me. She stood right beside me no matter how much it hurt her or how frustrated she was.
And now we come to what I consider the most life-altering thing we’ve dealt with in our marriage – my manic episode / mental breakdown in the summer of 2013. At the time of this writing it happened almost exactly 11 months ago.
I don’t think there are words that accurately express exactly what I/we went through. If you want more detail, check out my post at The Marriage Fight.
Here’s a little of what this time looked it. It was an insane (literally) period of time. I told Danielle things that, looking back, made absolutely no sense. I even told her she was free to leave me and forsake the vows we made 10 years ago. I did and said things I have ABSOLUTELY no recollection of. There are large chunks of a period of 2-3 weeks that I simply don’t remember. And I’m told by the people I love (and hurt the most) it’s for the best that I don’t remember them.
I do remember sitting my family all down on a bench in our hotel courtyard and giving some sort of rambling “speech” to them. In the end I basically made them choose to be for me or against me. Danielle chose to be for me. When I look at things now I wouldn’t have blamed her had she chosen otherwise.
But she chose me. Just like she chose me 10 years ago.
And I want to take this time, on the evening of our 10th anniversary to say to whoever reads this, that I am a blessed man because Danielle Trout/Barden chose me. She has been a steady supporter, my best friend, a rock in hard times, a shoulder to lean/cry on, and an absolutely amazing mother to our children.
She is strong. She is loud. She laughs. A lot. And loud. Sometimes at really awkward and inappropriate moments (especially during movies when nobody else is laughing).
Danielle, you love me in my imperfection, and I want you to know, I love you, and I always will.