Happy Birthday sweetheart

It’s my wife’s birthday today. She is one year, three months and 29 days younger than me. We have been married for four months and two days.

On the day of our wedding I almost had a heart attack and died. Well it felt that way, so intense was the panic. I mean the word “forever” has this strong note of finality about it. That word was rolling around in my head a lot as the big day got closer and closer and closer.

A life of confirmed bachelorhood was about to end and I wasn’t sure if I was ready. Had it all been some kind of mistake? Could I really handle spending the rest of my life with the same woman? Were we doomed to make each other miserable day after day after until the end of time?

These were the questions I was struggling with as I fell asleep the night before the big day. And when I woke up. And as I was driving in the car to meet her. And while the pictures were being taken. And even when I signed the ketuba.

But not when I said “Mekudeshet”

A bit before then even. When the guests started pouring in, when we were at that beautiful venue, when I was wandering around, drinking it all in. The nerves evaporated.

I wanted to write about the wedding straight after it happened but I held back, I knew that unlike when I wrote about our engagement it would take me longer to digest what was going on with marriage. Because although the party was awesome a party is not a marriage. Life together afterwards is marriage. Every day in every way.

And the only thing I really knew about love was from the Disney movies I watched as a child. I knew that I didn’t look much like Prince Charming. No one can really tell you what love is to let you know whether you’re in it or not. You have to simply take the plunge and hope that the feelings you’re having are what counts as the emotional soup that people are referring to when they, in turn, talk about being “in love”.

Why is there is no equivalent of an alcohol tester but for love to let you know if you are there yet? A machine that you can just breath into and a little digital display confirms it.

“Yes you are in love, you may now get married and live happily ever after”.

Not a bad idea for a startup.

But really every marriage is itself akin to a startup. It requires investment and careful nurturing.

It’s not easy. It’s not meant to be easy I don’t think. But it is special. I remember when I used to fly back to Ben Gurion airport from visiting my family and feeling sad that there was no one there to meet me. I remember all of those dates I went on knowing from the start that there was no chance anything would happen.

I remember the relief I felt when I met the girl who was to become my wife because I felt that here, finally, was a girl who got me.

She really got me.

And now we’ve been married four months. We’ve been a family for four months. I have had 17 million panic attacks during those four months about the things I did or the things I didn’t do that may start a cycle of events that could ruin the marriage. But nothing did and I am starting to doubt that anything could.

Because my wife gets me. By some miracle I am her Prince Charming and she is my Princess Jasmine/Ariel/Snow White. And today on December 13th 2014 I want to wish her happy birthday.

Baby your first words when you wake up are often “I love you” and now on your first birthday that we celebrate as husband and wife I am proud, blessed, honoured to be wishing you a happy birthday and telling you how much I love you.

I will never stop treasuring you and I will never take you for granted. You’re my family, my world, my treasure.

יום הולדת שמח

About the Author
Marc Goldberg is the author of Beyond the Green Line, a story his service in the IDF fighting through the al Aqsa Intifada