Twenty years ago today we said "I do". We did not know what we were letting ourselves in for, but who does really? What we did know was that love wasn't a feeling, it was a decision; and we decided that we were committed to this relationship.
Well I can tell you that the sun hasn't always shone, sometimes it's been dark and grim. But we were committed to our relationship and we are both stubborn enough to not want to be the one who gives up first.
Did you know 80% of relationships with special needs kids split up? We didn't want to be a statistic. We have learnt how to support and rescue the other party when it all gets too much, and it does sometimes. We are not perfect, sometimes, we shout, and occasionally we swear. But we are in this for the long haul and we have faith that we will make it in the end.
David and I are so happy today. It feels like a great achievement. It's a milestone and we are celebrating it. We were talking this morning about how we are different people to the ones that we married. Our horizons have grown so much, we are engaged much more with life. It's exciting. I won't lie, the process of changing nearly killed us and our relationship. But the thing is that learning to let each other change and still loving each other through all of those changes that come with becoming an adult and a grown-up, that is what has been the making of our relationship.
Looking back over the last 20 years, we celebrate the births of our children, each so precious and each child adding something unique to our family. We celebrate the great family times, holidays, birthdays, random celebrations... 100 nights reading, the Party For No Reason, Learning to Tie the Shoelaces to name a few. We've had a lot of pets and a few houses (three of them in one street). We've changed slowly but surely from a family that valued possessions, to a family that values experiences. We have realised over the years that mainstream education didn't really fit our family that well, and that we all learn the best by doing.
Alongside our relationship, we have also built a business for the last 20 years too. For us it's not just about Painting and Decorating, it's been about commitment to find the way to do things the best way we can. Like with our relationship, we've made lots of mistakes but also like our relationship we are rock solid in working together as a team. Thanks to 10,000 earthquakes we have a lot of work right now, but the project with Fletchers Construction has a definite end and we don't know what will happen after the next three years are completed. What we do know, is we will talk and talk and pray, and talk and talk some more, and make plans and move forward to whatever the future holds.
Do we have any regrets? Well I wish we had asked for help more often. I'm sure it would have been given. Maybe we didn't need to be so brave and so strong all the time. It would have been ok to cry a bit more and let someone else take the load. It wouldn't have made us less of a couple. It would have been all right.
Thank you David for the last twenty years. Let's plan on continuing being a great team for the next 20!
Love you sweet heart! Being married to you has been hard, but also the most rewarding thing we can do together. You are still my sunshine and I don't care how cheesy that sounds.