Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Lauren and I cohabiting. We celebrate three anniversaries, in fact, but to me, the fifth of July is most important.
July 5, 2004 wasn't the best day of our lives together. I had spent the previous week moving my effects out of a household that had been broken for longer than I care to think about, and myself out of a relationship that had been broken at least as long. Lauren arrived late that afternoon with a carload of her stuff, moving out of another unhappy relationship. We were both terribly excited, which masked some of the overwhelming stress and uncertainty. It was a tough way to start a life together, but we made it, and created a beautiful, delighting life.
In retrospect, that says a lot about how we love one another and why suddenly it's been four years together. We've had a tremendously happy time together, most of the time. But also a lot of terrible times, a lot of sad and distressful times. This isn't earth-shattering. Everybody goes through difficulty. The beauty and delight abide, always.
What keeps coming to mind for me lately is that no matter how stressed, paranoid, upset, angry, confused, or certain of doom I have been, of all the people in the world, Lauren always gives me hope and joy. The hope and joy she gives make it possible for life to be open, free, meaningful, and make it possible for me to fight the good fights I have to, and to smile. That hope and joy, and grasping hold of that hope and joy, of the possibility for happiness, is what the fifth of July represents to me.