I framed a collage of Ryan's marathon pictures and wrote him this letter which he opened Christmas morning. I wanted to share it because I have 7 brothers and sisters and many dear friends who are or will be selecting someone to marry (perhaps in the near future??? (You know who you are!). No names here to protect the innocent!
You don't really know what you're getting into when you get married and then life throws many curve balls - but I've been so lucky to have found Ryan. We knew pretty quickly when we were dating (age 25 & 27) that we'd found the right person - just five months from the time we began dating to when we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Columbia River Temple in my home town of Kennewick, WA.
We've enjoyed the most wonderful Christmas break doing things for each other and as a family. We've gotten things done, relaxed, and just loved being us. What else could one hope for out of life?! It hasn't all been roses because of those natural bumps in the road, but I've got someone to rough it with and that's reason to celebrate! Here's the letter:
We have had five years of marriage, five years of learning, and five years of melding our lives together to forge an eternal relationship and family unit. I have often been drawn in the past few months to dwell on the tremendous impact your marathon experience has had on me and my view of our marriage. I learned so much from this experience with you and feel it deserves a place on our walls.
To me it will always signify the noble character of the man I married and how blessed I am to have you forever. You are a great goal setter who has the drive to follow through and does not take commitments lightly. You are also a thoughtful goal setter and really wrap your head around the scope of the effort before you decide on the course to take. I admire your determination and diligence to do the hard things when your will was wavering. I couldn’t help but draw parallels to how these qualities are such a blessing in our family and the ideal traits I have always longed for, wanted, and needed in my equal – my eternal companion. I have always said I do not fear the future with you directing our family. I felt intuitively in those training months that this experience gave me an eternal preview of how you will be instrumental in what is achieved in our family.
I was surprised you running the marathon prompted significant personal introspection within me. I realized more about my role in our family - as the support I can be and should be to you. I learned a lot about following your lead. That sacrificing on my part to help you achieve your goals ultimately makes us stronger when you chart a course, we discuss it and you let me give input, and then I simply try to do my best to support you. I was often reminded of Adam in the Garden covenanting with the Lord to obey the commandments, followed by Eve covenanting with Adam to follow him as aligned himself and guided their family according to the Lord’s will. I am starting to better understand what that means.
I so appreciated your flexibility as I am learning how to support you. Those days you’d come home needing to get in a long run and I’d want a break from the kids – you were so wonderful about gauging my emotional temperature. I know I am not the most willing, eager support sometimes, but I began working on that because of your example. I remember Marci relating counsel President Chapman related on how to have a happy marriage – to do everything in your power to help your spouse achieve their righteous desires and goals. That the power of example supersedes all coaxing, nagging, or other methods to get the desired behavior in others – in short to treat them as the person you want them to become. You do that for me and I promise to strive to be that best friend and wife for you.
This is not the finished memento to commemorate your determination and achievement of the Richmond marathon. It’s like a jumping off point. After I had the matte cut, I found your number bib and remembered you also had the medal which would be great with the pictures. I also thought the inclusion of an inspirational quote would be a nice touch but had trouble deciding on the right one because this means so much to me for us. So here are some choices and we’ll go from there
Every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who acts as the Columbus to his own soul.
Sir J. Stephen
Some men succeed because they are destined to, but most men succeed because they are determined to.
God ever works with those who work with will.
Goals are a preview of future events and experiences in your life.
Mark Victor Hansen
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
I love you more than I can describe and I hope you enjoy this gift as much as I loved our fabulous getaway.