“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I wrote this post back in 2016 for Mr. Beard’s birthday and I wanted to revisit it and share these words out again as I approach our anniversary this week. I’ve shared eleven years of my life with sweet Mr. Beard and it has been glorious and messy and honest and wonderful.
I think it’s important to be honest about long-term relationships. There have been tough days, weeks, and even years in the eleven years we’ve shared. We’ve had times where we were so disconnected that I wondered if we would/should continue to be partners. We’ve had honest moments about if we are really giving one another what we need and what to do if we weren’t able to give the other what they needed. These were terrifying times. What if this doesn’t work anymore? What do we/I do now?
Long-term relationships are never easy and divorce isn’t a failure if we had/do end up in that spot. I suppose it’s weird to talk about these things on a blog post celebrating our anniversary. Or not, I think we need to tell the truth about relationships and how we change and they change over time. How it works until it doesn’t and then sometimes it works even better again. That’s our story. It works so good.
Humans are complicated creatures that change and evolve in the context of a lot of different relationships. The idea that we are supposed to be good all of the time is impossible and makes people believe they are doing something wrong. Life is hard. You will fight with people you love. You will question everything. You should question everything. You should examine all the parts of your relationships and make sure they are still healthy and fulfilling. It’s important to ask and be willing to hear the answers to these questions in relationships. Ignoring these important questions will catch up with you and it might destroy you and the people around you.
Happy Anniversary Sweet and Brave and Brilliant and Wonderful, Mr Beard. Iloveyou. You are my home. I choose you, always.
“I didn’t fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway. And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you”
― Kiersten White,
The Cuddle Bunny
I read a research study this week and it made me think of my relationship with Mr. Beard. Researchers in the 1970’s were examining how high levels of certain toxins would affect the health of groups of bunnies.
After weeks of injecting the bunnies with various toxins they were confused as to why all but one group of bunnies were getting sick. Under close examination, they found that one researcher was cuddling, petting, and loving the bunnies. The group of bunnies that did not get sick was the group that was getting the cuddles.
I understand that animal research is a necessary evil and that the cuddly researcher probably caused challenges for the study. But, sometimes when we are looking for a certain answer we find something else, something more valuable. In this study they learned, that love can literally save lives, even in the worst circumstances.
Well, Mr. Beard is my sneaky researcher. When life hits me with its best shots he grabs me up and cuddles the toxins right out of me. When waves of depression and anxiety take over he will cuddle me on the bathroom floor until I have the strength to stand on my own. He has always just known that it is not about saying anything in those moments but all about holding me tightly. I know that his cuddles have saved my life time and time again.
So, Mr. Beard, my sneaky cuddly researcher, I am so happy you were born. Thank you for cuddling me through the hard times. I love you more than you will ever know.
“These are my favourite chords.
I know you like them too.
When I get a new guitar, you can have this one and sing me a lullaby.
Sing me the alphabet.
Sing me a story I haven’t heard yet.” The Weakerthans, My Favourite Chords