Today I attain the milestone of 39 years. Over the past four decades I have received many gifts; but none have been more precious than the gift of togetherness that I have been blessed with each day for the last twenty one years.
I met my favorite farmer on Halloween night, 1993, at a fraternity party on the Dartmouth College campus. He was in the middle of his senior year football season and I was a freshman newbie on the swim team. We had our first date Thanksgiving weekend when we were both required to be on campus for athletic practice.
It didn’t take long for us to become basically inseparable. We got engaged on my twentieth birthday and were married a little over a year later. Our first baby was a black Labrador retriever named Taylor who ended up going to class with Matt and attaining her master’s degree in engineering business.
When Matt completed his master’s and I attained my undergraduate degree in June of 1997, we moved back to the farm in Nebraska. Our lives were no longer filled with classes and college life, but the togetherness remained constant as we transitioned to life on the prairie.
There is a tremendous sense of security that comes from the knowledge that you are never alone.
Although I do not spend every hour of every day with Matt, I take a piece of him with me wherever I go. Both my heart and my mind know that I have his unconditional love and support — this gives me confidence and motivation as I make my way through life.
Although I am proud of many things that I have done in my first 39 years, I am most proud of what Matt and I have accomplished together. From our three beautiful daughters to the farm that we tend to with love and dedication — I know that no matter what we could likely accomplish alone, we are better together.
There is tremendous joy to be found in the act of sharing.
There is tremendous strength to be found in the act of loving.
Today, as I count my blessings, my favorite farmer tops the list. I remember the look on his face the night that we first met. I picture in my mind the twinkle in his eye when he held each of our girls for the first time. I think of the smile that he gets on his face each morning as he tells me that he loves me.
I recognize the infinite beauty of this gift of togetherness…