December 8th, 2010 Neal
15 years ago, I met my best friend. 11 years ago I asked her to marry me, and despite all my obvious flaws she agreed. 9 years ago we stood together on a bitterly cold winter night, surrounded by family and so many dear friends, and promised each other that we would nurture, and protect, and defend, and seek to grow our friendship – always, constantly, and forever:
And let your best be for your friend.
If she must know the ebb of your tide, let her know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek her with hours to kill?
Seek her always with hours to live.
For it is hers to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
The last 9 years have been a great trial, a great challenge, but also a great joy, filled with so many moments of great sweetness. I might occasionally wish to trade away a rare dark moment. But I would not trade the very happy span of years, each unfailingly better than the last.
Thank you, Tara, for being willing to overlook my obvious flaws. Thank you for your patience, your kindness, your strength, your wit, your looks, and your laughter.
Thank you, in advance, for all the many years to come.
I love you with all my heart.