There I was 19 years ago, saying those two words that would bind me to the most wonderful woman in the world. And only one month into our marriage, I got deployed on training for a month. To say it was a hard way to start things off would be an understatement. My wife and I have made many mistakes over the years too. We tried to impress each other's parents during our first Christmas. Yeah, that one put us into debt the next 2 years. It took us probably 9 years before we really learned how to communicate well, to talk to each other about everything (both good AND bad). And we didn't really learn how to save, how to put money away until about 3 years ago. Or maybe on that last one, we didn't learn how much easier it makes things when you do so.
One thing I can say is that whenever I imagine where my life would be if I hadn't gotten out of the Army that year, if I hadn't chased that girl until she said yes, if I hadn't gone through all these problems and good times, I would be missing out on all the things that make my life considerably blessed.
For starters, I probably wouldn't have the great marriage that I have right now. Despite the fact that my wife is currently ill, these are the times when we seem to be closest and most in love with one another. I also have two incredibly talented boys who I envision growing up to be honorable and impressive men. Beyond these two very important things, there are aspects to my life that probably would not have happened had I not had such a wonderful marriage. I might not have gone through college and gotten my degree. I definitely wouldn't have re-awakened my love for writing if I didn't have such strong support behind me. And without my sons, I probably wouldn't be driven to be successful in my life as much. After all, I do believe that if I can show them success, they will also seek it in their own adult lives.
About the only thing I would change if I had to do it over again is how early I learned all these hard lessons. My family has had some difficult times, and sometimes I think about how much better I could have made it for them all if I hadn't made some of the mistakes I have. But we are very blessed, so I try not to complain too much. I also realize just how much worse off we could be, and that's a sobering thought.
I don't have a parting question for you, but I do wish each and every one of you as blessed a life as mine. I hope the best for all your families, and may you all reach almost two decades of life with a satisfied grin on your face.