True happiness began 7 years ago for me, when she became my wife

imageI remember standing at the altar, watching as she crossed the courtyard toward the church. I remember smiling so much my cheeks hurt; I remember the pride and appreciation I felt knowing I was about to be her husband; and I remember a momentary breeze lifting a stray strand of hair away from her face, like God’s finger gently brushing it aside as she entered the chapel. As with any rare occasion when we don’t enter a room together, our eyes found each other immediately. So much was said to each other during that long walk to the altar. Not in words, but spoken between our two hearts — in a language we had been fluent in from the moment we met…

Seven years ago today, I became the man I was meant to be by marrying the woman I was meant to be with. The moments we have shared since then are more than memories — they are carried within each pulse that beats from my heart; like a constant and steady flow of warmth and wonderment inspired by her presence. We came into each other’s lives as parts of a fractured whole, survivors with scraped knuckles from time spent trying to repair broken marriages with parts from ourselves. Perhaps because of this it was easier to recognize one another when our hearts met for the first time. And perhaps because of our past experiences we were able to appreciate even more the rarity of what we felt.

Or perhaps what we felt was simply knowing we had arrived at a destination that had been set into motion long before we met.

The first year of our relationship was spent long distance, taking turns traveling the two hours between my home on the coast and hers in the valley. Though my divorce had been finalized, hers was still pending as her ex-husband bickered.



Today, as I sat down to write this, I happened upon an email I sent to her one morning. She was checking it frequently for word from her lawyer regarding the finalization of her divorce. I wanted this to be waitng for her instead…


Good morning, My Sweetheart.

I know you are checking your e-mail regularly — for reasons that I wish were different — so I thought I’d take take this opportunity to tell you a few things that I hope will bring a smile to your face and comfort to your heart…

Moving closer to daily life with you — whether in steps or leaps — is closer than I ever imagined I would get to the kind of Love I feel for you. As difficult as it gets at times having to wait for motion to build into momentum, I only have to stop and remind myself that regardless of the things I can’t control when it comes to getting to the place I want to be with you, nothing can take away from the fact that we found each other… and that the Love we share carries us through each day.

Each packed box you send home with me; each time we tuck the kids into bed together; every morning we get the chance to wake up and look into each other’s eyes or spend our first waking moments on the phone together… they are things we will look back on in the years ahead with smiles, with wonderment, and with appreciation for each other and the gift of our Love.

Sweetheart, I waited so very long to find You — the Love of My Life. The weeks or even months ahead are a small price to pay for a lifetime with you.

You are so worth the wait…


After seven years, I still can’t help but smile whenever I see her; I am still in wonderment of what we have together; and I am filled with appreciation for being the man who wakes next to her each morning.

Here’s why…

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you for taking the time to share in the meaning of this day with us.


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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

93 thoughts on “True happiness began 7 years ago for me, when she became my wife”

  1. Geez, Ned. You have me crying here. This is beautiful. Happy Anniversary to you and your beautiful wife! I love to see people happy and in love, it’s the most amazing thing.

    1. Knowing how much love there is between you and your husband, that means a lot, Gretchen. Thank you! It’s impossible to adequately express that kind of happiness in words — but I feel blessed to have the chance to try.

    1. Thanks, Lynn! Brad Paisley sings a song called “And I thought I Loved You Then,” about how, just when he think he can’t love his wife more than he already does, he realizes its the countless little things about her that keep him falling deeper in love each day.

      I think Brad and I could talk a lot about that 😉

  2. I’m happy for you both. Mr. Gibber and I are almost at 12 years now. I can tell you it just gets better and better. 🙂 Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thanks and cheers to you and Mr. Gibber! I had a feeling the years ahead are pretty darned good ones when you’re sharing them with the right person 😉

  3. There’s a lot of spouse knocking on the net. This is sweet.

    So basically you not only made your wife cry with this video but you sent it out here where all the other women would start bawling too. Nice.

  4. Happy Anniversary Ned and Alicia!

    I think some dust must have blown into my eyes. That was the most heartfelt beautiful anniversary “card” I have ever seen Ned. Here’s a toast to you and your Love and may all your years to come be filled with good health, happiness and prosperity. Your love gives others hope.

  5. Ned, you’re an incredible person and deserve to have found your beautiful soul mate. I’m so happy that in this instance, Love Wins. xoxo

  6. Crying like a baby, here. (A really big, gray-haired baby, but still…) You make me believe in Love (with a capital “L”). And you are the most romantic husband I’ve ever seen! May the two of you always be as happy together as you are today! So beautiful that you met each other exactly when you did. Nothing in life happens without a reason… or without meaning. I’m glad you found yours. Happy anniversary!

    1. Hahaha! Be a believer, Marcia! (But not a Belieber, pleeeeaaase!) You’re so right about things happening for a reason. Fate has a way of stepping in when your heart is open. One of our favorite songs is “At Last” by Etta James, because it took a while but, at last, we found each other 😉

      Thank you for the kind, warm words, Marcia. You’re a special one, lady.

      1. Your wife is beautiful, Ned. She just looks like a happy, wonderful person.
        I’m pleased to have a minute to be seen. As soon as the interminable, abominable construction project is over and we have moved I’ll have more time to read and to write and to LIVE.

        1. She truly is beautiful, inside and out, and full of life. I felt it the moment we met. Ok, to be honest,I felt something else first when I saw her for the first time, but fullness of life was a close second 😉

          My best wishes on the construction and move. We just went through the same a few months ago, so I feel your pain. Keep battling — it will be worth it !

  7. I want to say that I am jealous, but that’s not really how I feel. You both put a big smile on my face and every picture I see of her shows how Alicia feels about you. Thanks for letting us see that.. it brings me a lot of hope.

    Best wishes. You two will cherish each other for eternity, the two luckiest people in the world.

    1. At first I thought your jealousy was aimed at my thong…

      In all seriousness, thanks so much for the kind wishes and warm words, Henry. I know how blessed I am and wish the same for you. I will cherish her always and waste no time letting her know every chance I get. With or without my red thong…

      Cheers, my friend.

    1. You’re a perceptive man, Henry. We’ve mentioned to each other how we have special smiles that are for each other and no one else. I know how lucky I am to see that smile 😉

  8. Happy anniversary! I see there is nothing of the “Seven Year Itch” about you two. Nice to see you bucking that trend. Also, nice to see romance is not dead. Have a great celebration. 🙂

  9. Ah Ned, this is why we love our husbands or partners; the deep moments that our hearts know intimately. The moment you just shared in your video and post is the fiber that holds two together through all that was and is yet to come. Love at its purest! Congratulations to you both and thank you for sharing your love; I need to tell my Bill why I love him so.

  10. Thank you SO much for sharing this story with us. Even an outsider who lives hundreds of miles away can see the love and respect and FUN the two of you share.
    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wipe the ugly-cry tears off my face. If you don’t mind, I’m also embedding this link in a story I’m writing this morning. It’s so perfect. Just like you two. Congratulations Ned!

    1. There’s no such thing as ugly-cry tears when they are happy ones 😉 I feel like the luckiest man every day to have her to love — and folks like you to share that with. Thank You!

    1. Always happy to take a chance with you, Michelle. Thanks for including me in such a creative and thoughtful post, with such a terrific group of folks 😉

  11. Happy anniversary a day late, Ned. What a nice post honoring your partner, and spelling out your love, respect and appreciation for her.

    Beautiful, sir.

    Husbands and boyfriends can take a cue. They don’t have to write eloquent posts and make tribute videos, but if they can just find a way to demonstrate love, respect and appreciation for their partners daily, I think everyone would discover relationships don’t have to be quite as hard as we believe them to be.

    Thank you for sharing with us and setting a good example. I hope your family has a fantastic weekend, Ned.

    1. Thank you so much, Matt. It means a lot coming from someone with such a good heart. And you nailed it: little things every day, not just big gestures a few times a year. Opening doors, scooting chairs, unloading the groceries after you have her take a seat in the car — small things that say I love you in each day add up to something big.

      Thanks again, Matt.

  12. Happy anniversary to you and your everything wife, my friend. You said it all just right here, Ned.

    I, too, found my dear wife Karen after 40, and am thrilled and amazed by her and with her every dang day.

    Bravo and to many, many, more.

  13. What a beautiful tribute to your wife, and to the two of you as a team. I draw much inspiration and hope from this!

  14. Awwww… *sniff* that was soooo *sniff sniff* beautiful!!! *sniff* what an awesome man and husband you must be! * sniff* She is one lucky gal, but you are pretty blessed too!!
    I KNEW there Prince Charmings out there!!! I just knew it!! *Sniff*
    Now if I could just find one for my daughter…. *sigh*
    Congratulations Ned and Alicia! I hope and pray you have many, many more years to come!! *raises glass in toast* 😉

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