To my love on our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary:

Every year when we go on our anniversary dinner date, you ask me the same question.

“So…where do you think we’ll be in ten years?”

Though I love the idea of verbalizing our ideas of what life will be like a decade from today while enjoying a meal together at a romantic restaurant, I never feel like I have a good enough answer: you always seem to have a more specific picture in mind than I do. I’m an excellent planner on a day-to-day basis but life has so many twists and turns that it’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like ten years down the road. That’s why, after I spend a few minutes failing to come up with a detailed vision to describe to you, I always just say,

“I don’t care where we’ll be…as long as we’re together.”

This year we have been busy coming to the realization that this empty-nester thing is really going to happen (in just a little more than eight months!). We’re starting to look at how our life is going to be when it’s “just us” most of the time, and, admittedly, it looks pretty darn good. We have always made sure to give our relationship “Very Important” status and since the beginning we knew that even though we wanted to have a family and enjoy our kids as much as humanly possible while we raised them, eventually it would be “just us” again. I am thankful we kept that in mind all this time, because rather than being filled with dread that the boys are nearly grown and out of the house, we are excited to watch them take steps toward their individual dreams while we reinvent our way of living as “just us”.

I anticipate that even though we have some definite ideas of things we want to include in our future (like making travel plans and continuing to hold hands), we will keep on letting the twists and turns of life inspire us to make the most of it all, and we’ll choose each path along the way, as a team.

All of that being said, my answer to your question tonight at dinner is going to be the same as it always is.

I don’t care where we’ll be…as long as we’re together.”

I decided that I’m not even going to try and come up with specifics before I say that, because I think this was the best answer all along.

Happy anniversary. I love you.

Forever yours,