15 to Life

02ce163afe978916dd6118dfeae68b65What does 15 years of marriage look like?


It is. 15 is like breathing. I don’t know any differently, only the space your body leaves for me to roll into. 15 years is fewer sharp edges to cut or slice. 15 is soft enough to absorb and blunt.

15 years is difficulty telling where I stop and you begin. It is mixing up histories. It is forgetting you weren’t there for part of my life and putting you there anyway; a cardboard cut-out photo-shopped in the back of my memory.

15 years is a sentence. More than a stint, less than a forever, fifteen to life. It is stranded between the rounded bookends of 10 and 20, a stepping stone on the way to 25. There are no poems that rely on 15 lines, no mysticism. But you can’t ignore it.

15 is too substantial to ignore, its bulk is too present.

15 is past settling, it is roots below the surface. It is sometimes forgetting to look because you think you remember what is in front of you, like your own reflection.

15 is elastic enough to stretch individual tastes and trust your history will snap you back together. 15 is separate vacations because 15 is knowing you don’t have to enjoy the same things to stay in love.

15 is occasional flowers, a snippet of love song, a note scribbled on the back of a napkin and left on a pillow. It is realizing random champagne is just as good as momentous occasions. It is annoyance and exasperation at the loudness of someone’s chewing, the way they say a certain word, the way they leave their things scattered about.

15 is grateful for the moments that still make you catch your breath.

15 is feeling your heart in your throat when you tell the story of how you met and realizing how very many things could have gone wrong.


15 is truly meaning you are the love of my life because no matter what cards fate has up her tricky sleeve, you have been the love that has been there throughout year ones and twos and sixes and sevens. Through the deaths and the blue times that seemed to spilled over and stain everything else. Through the nines and tens and nights on the couch. Through the laughs and the sing-a-longs and sleepless nights of babies. The fours and fives of longing, eights and tens of whirling around each other in a tornado twisting with change. Through the elevenses and twelves of  clickety-clacking to the top of the hill and thirteens of screaming down, stomachs dropping. Through the calm of fourteens.

15 in no longer planning for a future together but being smack dab in the middle of it.

15 is understanding the possibility that someday one will exist without the other.

15 is promising to make the minutes and days and months, all the in between thens and nows, count for something.

This is 15.





24 thoughts on “15 to Life

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    1. It’s funny, isn’t it? There is something about 0 years and 5 years that make you stop and take stock, I think. And yet 15 really isn’t celebrated but it is when a lot of us reach a tipping point, that point in the time when we’ve known our spouses for longer than we haven’t (we haven’t reached that point yet, but mentally it feels that way). Congrats to you on your 15th as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy anniversary — this post is so lovingly felt! My husband and I were in Geneva when we hit 15 — now we’re back here in the State, about to hit 30 (September). How does that happen???


    1. I don’t know, Elyse! I just had a minor panic attack when I realized that I am now only 15 years away from 60. How did that happen indeed. Congrats on 30. That’s some serious love mileage!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, all of that and more. Great post.
    15 is good. 30 is twice as good. Closing in on 33 officially, 40 unofficially.
    Still discovering the many things that make my partner interesting, and challenging, and inspiring. Also frustrating and maddening at times. And then brilliant and funny.
    And how come I’m the only guy commenting?


    1. I think I may scare off a lot of men with my sometimes ranting, Paul ;-). I’m glad you commented. I know many men feel the same as you and it’s brilliant to know there is even more stuff to look forward to down the next stretch.


  3. I love yr articles, Dina. I found you a couple years ago from yr expat musings, so funny and so true. Now the same with this. It’s been 27 yrs. for me, 2nd husband even, and it feels like what you wrote for the 15, only more so! We can’t believe that much time has passed, and I still see the 30-yr-old when I look at the nearly 60 one, as does he. Probably why we’re still together! 😉


    1. Oh, thank you. I needed this today. I’m so glad you found me and glad that you have found things to relate to. And now I can look forward to year 27 while rejoicing knowing that I’m sure I will still see the young man I met on the edges of the one I’m growing old with.


    1. Thanks, Alice. It’s nice to share the good stuff, the stuff that makes you happy. I won’t say my husband makes me happy because that is both untrue and unfair, but what we have created together makes me happy.

      Liked by 1 person

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