When Drew and I board a flight, we have a hard time not making a bit of a spectacle of ourselves. Thanks to Drew’s collection of airline points, we have a series of business class flights trucking us around Oceania. We spend a week or so marveling at the deep blues of the Ocean, then off we go to the blues of the sky, peeking out the little oval airplane windows like children on a field trip. On this most recent flight from Saipan to Seoul (to Singapore, to Melbourne, to Aukland…) we snuck up on eachothers’ motorized recline controls in attempt to “surprise attack” each other with the dreaded “upright position.”
I don’t know if I could handle all the hustle of travel if it weren’t for the friendship and companionship Drew and I have nurtured for this past year of marriage. Could I manage the constant hunt for budget accommodations or the awkwardness of english-less-ness if I didn’t have Drew to turn to and make an observation, a joke, or even just to lean on in a moment of exhaustion? Could I manage all of these flights without someone to make a spectacle with, oogling together over the bizarre accouterments of business class? It would at the very least be less fun, I’m sure of that.
Even without these deep blue oceans to look upon, I know we’ll always be more like partners in crime or adventurers than being one another’s “ball and chain.” This man who now bobs his head playfully to the “Earth, Wind and Fire” channel of the airplane’s music options with dramatically squinted eyes and a goofy smile is, after all, the same man I fell in love with: the same man who showed up on my doorstep with nothing but a duffel bag and spent hours reading and chatting with my widowed grandma to ease her loneliness and offer some comfort to her gradually declining vision. The man who now treks with me along white-sand beaches and glides with me over brightly colored beds of coral, is the same man who once took homeless men to the thrift store and all around town, listening to their heart-breaking stories without an ounce of disgust or disregard. Whether he is on a tropical island or in a small town in Virginia, Drew is a lover of broken people, and a seeker of simplicity. This is what makes our lives exciting. Life with him is an adventure of the best kind: an adventure in learning from whomever we meet and striving to meet them with whatever we have to offer, at the very least, Love. It’s an adventure that recognizes the ugliest and most beautiful elements of this world, giving the sadness or gratitude each deserves.
I love the silent thoughtfulness Drew offers after a sobering walk through the poorest streets of Cambodia. I love the playful excitement at the sight of a tropical fish, and I love the talkative chatter over a pizza. I love the shared exhausted after an uncomfortable attempt to sleep in a rental car in Guam and I love the child-like awe upon entering the luxurious Park Hyatt Shanghai. I love how grateful Drew is for his friends and family. And I love how quick he is to brag to strangers about my drawings or articles, making me sound like ten times more of a success than I am.
Happy Anniversary Drew. I am well blessed.