12 signifies the number of ancient tribes in Israel, the disciples who followed Jesus, the number of signs in the zodiac, the hours on a clock, and it is the number often used as a sales unit in trade.
12 is the number on my husband’s soccer jersey. He’s been that number since youth. During my short lived time on the soccer field, I too wore that same number.
I met my husband in the 12th month of the year and we kissed for the first time just before midnight.
We have lived in this house for 12 years. And 12 years ago today we said “I do.”
12 is just a number – a marker of time – a number on a jersey. The laughs we have shared out number 12. More than likely we have fought more than 12 times but again, it’s just a number and I know we have laughed more than the number of arguments. The way I feel about myself, about my husband, our children and about our life together when I look into his eyes erases time. The number of years disappears and I am left standing in more love than I imagined those 12 years ago at the altar.
12 years later our marriage isn’t totally what I imagined it would be – it’s been real. Full of ups and downs. Sure he pisses me off like no other. You bet he drives me nuts with his ways of leaving little piles of his stuff all around the house and yes he takes forever to get some things done, like building the raised garden. But it’s just stuff and its only time. And I’m no angel with my over stuffed drawers and messy closets and obsessive way of multi-tasking.
Absolutely, I‘ve thought about throwing in the towel. No doubt I’ve thought about what it would be like, if only. But the love I feel for him brings me back to reality. When I shove my ego out of the way, I see this man, who gets me like no other. He knows how I feel before I know I’m feeling it. He supports my dreams, holds my hand and makes me laugh like no one else. I married my best friend and yes occasionally he frustrates me, challenges me – but every day he inspires me, moves me, loves me when I’m unlovable, makes me want to keep striving to be the best version of myself.
Oh, yes there’s the raised garden bed I have asked him about 12 times to build me in our backyard, but it’s just a number and at the end of the day our marriage is the garden that matters. And after 12 years it’s still blossoming and producing fruit, with the occasional reality check of a good pruning.
So now I will go fill the coffee pot to 12 and crack open a dozen eggs and share a meal with my little family, the one who brings far more blessings than I ever imagined.
by J.G. McGlothern