Saturday, October 01, 2005

17 Years

Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. That feels both long and short. It seems like I've known Theresa forever. She's as naturally a part of me as my left arm, and her absence would feel as unnatural. But at the same time, it doesn't feel like 17 years, or the nearly 20 that I've known her.

Seventeen years ago today I was a cub reporter in New Hampshire, covering planning commissions, school boards and selectmen meetings in little towns along the I-91 corridor. Dead and dying villages, most of them, with enormous, empty, factory floors -- leftovers from a machine-tool industry that had moved to Asia. Theresa worked in one of the largest teaching hospitals in New England. By the time our first child was born, we had skipped over the Connecticut River and worked and lived in Vermont. For our second, third, fourth and fifth child, we were further down the Interstate, in Massachusetts -- me writing about computer trivia, while Theresa worked in Hospice and cared for families as they said goodbye to their dying husbands, wives, fathers and daughters. Today we're in another country entirely. Theresa's still caring for cancer patients, and I'm still moving words about, albeit of a slightly less trivial sort.

Laid out like that, it sounds like a lot. It isn't. It went by like a flash. I haven't spent enough time with Theresa, not by a long shot. She still surprises me almost every day. I'm looking forward to another 17 years of discovery.

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