15 years today, my Love, we stood under that Lysiloma tree at the Hermosa Inn and it rained pungent yellow puff balls down on us. You with your fever caused by that exotic illness lurking in you– and then on top of that– 105 degrees that day. And me in my little glasses and my 89 dollar white dress. We walked down the aisle to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue coming from a boom box– tinny and soft– too quiet to fill the space. And it was perfect. We made those vows that we would later break– I vowed that I would be the raft if ever one of us was sinking– and much later we would sink. And I wasn’t the raft. I wasn’t ready to surrender or to be a woman just yet– but I knew one thing: I loved you. Then. And now. And you weren’t quite ready to be a man– but you would do. And here you are. And look at you now. We grew up together– in the Arizona desert for the past 20 years. The first decade was just us… waiting. Waiting, in a sense, for our parents to come home. But they never did. And so we became the parents. Our son came in and forever changed us– and we no longer orbited each other. We orbited him. And then he got sick– and you vanished behind the wallpaper– I grew up enough for both of us. And then he got well. But your dad didn’t. But then, our baby girl came into the world. So ready. Just in time. And then I lost you– for the first time. And you broke my heart. And, come to find out, I had unwittingly broken yours years before. I’m still sorry for that. We broke our vows, perhaps. But not on purpose. Because since the day I met you– and turned around in line to see the beauty of you smile at me– you have been my home. And even this year, I have wanted to tear down the walls of you and us. But, there we are again, best friends. Lovers. Champions. Warriors. Kids. Together. Remember when Pat said she had never seen two people muscle test stronger together than they were apart? We probably test stronger apart now– 15 years later. Stronger as individuals– maybe–but so very strong together. We did it. I am more proud of you than I have ever been. You have stepped into the fullness of you and it is beautiful to witness– if hard to endure the fourth year of school. It was worth it. Your compassion, intelligence and unflappability are my bedrock. And if I could write my vows again today– I’d say this: I vow to honor you and treat you as gently as the beautiful little boy you once were– to stare into your eyes as often as possible– to listen more and talk less– to remember the Us that used to wait around– for days and hours for our parents to come home– just being– just enjoying each other– making dinner– being alive– together. I love you. Happy anniversary.