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  • Kristen Kehoe

14 Years of Us

Life is unpredictable. Although this statement is obvious from the outside, there is some part of us that always believes we can make something happen, that we can predict or work for or force something into being. In some aspects, that’s true. We can work hard, we can forgive, we can pray and hope and train…all of these things will help. But at its core, the only thing predictable about life is that we cannot imagine everything that it holds.

This is especially true for the life we build with other people.

There is no map, no guidebook, no certainty that this is what’s going to happen, whatever this is. When I was 22, I couldn’t have imagined or predicted what life held for us, Old Man River. Jesus, I had literally just left the sorority. I was living paycheck to paycheck, trying to figure out not only who I was, but who I was supposed to be, and there you were, that first day, right in front of me.

I can’t say it was love at first sight even though the romantic in me begs to say just that. But I am old enough to know that love is a weight, a solid feeling of security and belief and the knowledge that no matter what it takes, you’re going to come out on the other side together.

When we first met, the only thing I knew for certain is that you made me laugh. A lot. Now, fourteen years later, I’ve learned that laughter is the thing that saves us during those unpredictable times; it is, in fact, the thing that allows us to take a step back when we both need to breathe, and it offers us perspective. Or at least just a time out.

So, maybe it wasn’t love at first sight, but it was laughter at first meeting, and that feels pretty damn close.

I never predicted you, Jan. I never predicted that I would move somewhere and find a man who not only made me laugh, but who let me cry. One who admired me for me (which was no easy feat as 22-year-old Krissy was a lot), and made me feel valuable simply for existing. I never predicted that in fourteen years I would learn that sometimes you have to fight, to disagree, in order to move on together, but you also have to laugh and let go.

You help me let go. You help me just be. That’s a gift I never could have predicted, nor known how badly I needed.

Life is unpredictable—but what we have? What we are building every day with each laugh, each disagreement, each moment of time we spend together instead of apart? I can predict now that it will only make me love you more. (Just as you were able to accurately predict tonight that at some point, I didn’t care about the wedding photos anymore. I was bloody ready to check out for the evening. Well done, you.)

Here is to fourteen years of us, Old Man River. They’ve been the best kind of unpredictable. Love you to the moon.

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