Today is officially our tenth wedding anniversary. Ten years--WOW. We've been through so much in the past ten years. So many good memories and so much love. Andrew is my rock. He's the consistent factor in my life, the person I can ALWAYS depend on. He's easy going. Very easy to love and easy to be married to. I often joke that I have a lot more to lose in this marriage. He puts up with a lot. He's hilarious, with a dry sense of humor and wit that sometimes just kills me (like currently, his facebook picture is of Sloth from Goonies. Before that, it was Michael Jackson with ET because he saw their picture on a skateboard with the line "Alien vs. Predator" and loved it!) Andrew is a wonderful dad, fully dedicated to his girls. Maggie is a very lucky little lady that he is her daddy!
We got married SO young. It was three weeks after college graduation. I moved in with him before the wedding because I didn't want to move my stuff back home only to move it again three weeks later. During that time, I was my father's caregiver during the day, transporting him to and from radiation treatments and handling all his tube feedings. Andrew would join me every night at my parents' house where we would at least stay until dinner.
Our first year of marriage was spent typically at my parents' home at least a few nights a week. With my dad so sick, we wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. Then, he died 10 months into our marriage. Andrew got me through that time. He loved my father and misses him just as I do. To this day, we will often have something happen (like Maggie doing something silly or Brandy acting crazy) and one of us will say, "What would Jerry Lawson think about that?" When it came time to name our first child, Andrew didn't hesitate to agree when I said I wanted the middle name HAD to be Leigh in honor of my father.
We've been able to grieve in different ways through both the loss of my father and the loss of our daughter. We respect that each of us handles it differently and we don't hold the other to an expectation that we feel the same way. I truly believe that has made a difference in us making it to ten years after Allie's death. We respect each other, even in grief.
Starting Heroes for Children and growing the organization has not been an easy task. There has been a lot of work along the way. Recently, Andrew was asked, "Did you have any idea this would be so big one day?" His answer, "Oh yes, I know my wife." You see, he supports me. He knows my drive and determination to make Heroes for Children succeed and he wholeheartedly supports that. He loves Heroes for Children. He will never serve on the Board of Directors or be willing to speak, but he volunteers in his way. The staff refers to him as "I.T." He handles all our computer work. So, when there's an issue, someone will say, "Better call IT we need help!" He puts in countless hours working for us as a volunteer, working on everything from the server to ordering laptops for the Laptops for Love program. We're so lucky to have him!
Andrew is my best friend and my favorite person to be around. He and I are very different in personality, but we compliment each other well. We rarely fight (possibly more because he is just a very passive laid back person who doesn't make a big deal of things) and we truly enjoy each other's company.
I'm so thankful for ten great years. I'm looking forward to many, many more!