Oct. 16, 199910 years ago when Paul and I selected our wedding bands we chose to have a message engraved inside the bands. Revolutionary concept, I know… we were just so cutting edge. Paul was quick to say that “I love you” stated the obvious and was “stupid”. I agreed.  Instead, “I appreciate you” was engraved. Saying “I appreciate you” had more significance between us than simply saying “I Love you”. It meant that we had taken time to consider how our words, actions and commitment impacted each other and that we understood what it meant to appreciate someone and be appreciated. Being appreciated is often far better than just being loved. 

For well over a decade and all the “I love you’s”, I must admit that hearing Paul say that he appreciates me is what brings me back to the core of why the adventure is worth the trek and that all the blood, sweat and tears have been worth it.

Tuesday, we will quietly acknowledge the passing of a milestone. August 18, the anniversary of my surgery, will forever humble us and remind us of what we should pause to appreciate in our lives.  Never did I imagine that nearly 10 years ago when we exchanged vows in the small, historic St. Mary’s Chapel in Charlotte, that we would be facing such challenges and that the significance of three words would have such profound meaning. 

I appreciate the lessons I’ve taken away from my experience, the sacrifices my family has made, real friends, compassionate nurses and doctors, the power of words, good deeds, time, laughter and the mystery of the future.   

Paul, thank you. I appreciate you.

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