7.1
November 9, 2019

I Choose You, Baggage & All.

Marry the person who can make you laugh when you’ve had a bad day.

Who thinks you’re sexy in a little black dress, and cute as a button in flannel pj’s.

Marry the person who can hold your hair back when you’re sick, and still find you to be a stunning goddess the next morning (crazy, right?).

Most importantly, marry the person who calms your storm. You will need that in life.

The storms, unfortunately, will come. Settle for nothing less than the one who is your shelter, safety, and peace.

This man has the patience of a saint, but he doesn’t know it. He has patiently waited for me as I examined his every action, thought, and idea with a powerful microscope, trying to decide if I should trust him.

He never wavered—giving me space when I needed it, running to my side when I called, and has loved my imperfect self beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am amazed by it.

The second time around is fun, exciting, beautiful, and terrifying. After all, if you are on your second marriage, you’ve already been through divorce. It is understandable to be a little gun-shy after that nightmare.

No one sets out to divorce. Whether you are the one who wants it to happen or not, the end feeling is often one of shock, wondering, “What just happened?” And let’s face it: there is more at stake with a second marriage. Children are already here, and families have to blend.

Trust is a huge issue as you choose to merge your life with someone during the second half. Trust is a choice.

On the brighter side…

We are hopefully stronger, wiser, and more understanding and patient as we near half of a century. Things that drove us insane when we were younger roll off of us a little easier now. We have learned what is truly important in life. “Baggage” isn’t all bad.

From what I have seen in middle age, most of us carry around enough baggage to make a pack mule roll his eyes. Show me someone near 50 years old with no baggage, and you’ll be showing me someone with some deep-seated denial issues.

The baggage comes in different sizes, of course. Some just have a cute little cosmetic case full of small pebbles, representing mistakes and pain they’ve encountered after hitting some minor speed bumps.

Others of us have a sturdy, old-fashioned trunk filled with large rocks we’ve collected through the years, from the mountains we have climbed or torn down. Our backs may hurt from the weight—but wow, we are strong.

At this stage of life, whether dating or marrying, you need someone who doesn’t insist you dump all of those rocks you have collected, but instead, gently helps you unload them, one at a time, out of that old, heavy trunk, to build something beautiful and lighten the load.

I want someone who understands what each one represents and how they have shaped me into who I am.

Love is sitting and listening to the story behind each jagged rock (sometimes a horrifying story) and choosing to stay.

Love is a choice.

We chose each other, baggage and all.

Each morning when we wake up, and over and over throughout the day, we will choose each other.

When temptation comes our way, and, sadly, it will, we will choose.

When anger hits, and it will, we will choose.

As we grow old, with less hair and bigger bellies, health issues and painful joints, we will choose.

Love and trust are risky. We simply choose them every day, or we don’t.

I choose you, over everyone else, every day—for the rest of my life.

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Melissa Nicholson  |  Contribution: 3,625

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