Love tells the story

By Mir
September 10, 2009

One of the last boxes I unpacked this weekend was clearly one that had lived in my last basment, half-unpacked, and then had a generous measure of “I’m nearly done packing but I don’t know where to put this stuff” items dumped in on top of it. I’m glad I took the time to go through it, because it did hold several items of sentimental value (“MAMA YOU ARE THE BEST MAMA LUV MONKYE MONKEY”) and a couple of things I’d assumed were lost forever. It also held Otto’s wedding gift to me and my ex.

My first wedding was in 1994. I was 12. (I slay me. And no, I never tire of that joke.) Despite having grown up on the east coast, we were in grad school in California and it seemed to make the most sense to get married locally, rather than trying to coordinate a wedding long-distance. As a result, not very many of our friends came. Actually, I take that back; not very many of MY friends came. My ex is a few years older and more of his friends were finished with school and had actual jobs.

Otto had a job, but not a particularly lucrative one, and I was surprised when he told me he would find a way to get to my wedding.

He did it, though—he showed up and hung out and took pictures and teased me relentlessly. Just like the old days when we were in college. Little did he know, at the time, that he was setting himself up for HIS favorite joke; many years later, after we got engaged, he loved to answer any question about wedding planning with a wry, “Well, we’ve both already been to the wedding where she wore the big white dress….”

Otto’s wedding gift to us was the simplest thing we received: It was a plain spiral journal with a hearty cover, and a deck of playing cards to accompany it. Otto wrote us a wonderful note on the first page of the journal, leading off with something about how life is a journey and going on to say that he hoped we’d build memories together and record them together, and we’d continue to enjoy each other whether it was a grand expedition we were on or just a quiet afternoon of playing cards. “Record it all,” he wrote. “The good and the not-so-good. It’s all memories.”

So this weekend, I found the journal at the bottom of that last box (the cards have long since disappeared).

It was completely blank. We never wrote a single word in it.

I pulled it out and flipped through the pages, unable to wrap my mind around having shared nearly ten years with someone and having absolutely nothing to say about it.

I showed it to Otto, and then dropped it into the garbage with a melodramatic flourish. I did feel a small pang of regret, on the kids’ behalf, but it passed.

Last night as we sat down to dinner, Otto announced that he’d like to say grace. We usually go around the table in order and this wasn’t his night, so we all waited expectantly for what he’d have to say.

“Dear Lord, thank you for bringing us all together for this bountiful meal and for the blessings you bestow on us each and every day,” Otto began. “You have given us much and we are grateful for it.” Monkey wriggled in his seat and I poked him in a way that I hoped communicated “be still.”

“It was twenty years ago this week that my beautiful wife and I met,” continued Otto, and I grinned as I realized why he’d wanted to say grace. “Maybe we didn’t know, back then, what You had in store for us. Maybe I could’ve been smarter, and made this all happen a little sooner, but regardless, this week we look back on how it all began and give thanks.”

My head was bowed, and my eyes were getting a little damp, but I waited.

“And Lord,” he went on, “maybe we didn’t picture this, but I am grateful for it all. For my wife, for this life we have together, for these two wonderful children You’ve brought into my life, all of it. Thank you.”

I was dangerously close to bursting into tears.

“Sure, maybe sometimes we talk about trading in one or both of the kids for a camper, or a camera, or a dog—” three sets of eyes popped open and glared, and Otto looked up briefly and then calmly continued, “—so we don’t really know how long this is all going to last—”

“You’re done!” I said. “AMEN!”

“—but we sure are enjoying it,” he finished, a wicked little grin playing at the corners of his mouth. He looked up and smiled at me. “Amen.” I shook my head but could not stop smiling back.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. I hope love is weaving a wonderful story in your life, and that you remember to tell it.


  1. Ann from Minnesota

    Thanks for sharing that – how sweet!

  2. dad

    I came more than “dangerously close to bursting into tears.”

  3. Mom

    That Otto surely does have a way with words – and heartwarming feelings. Well said, Otto.


  4. Jean

    You are blessed. Whatever the trials in your life, that Otto is a true blessing. With an excellent sense of humor, by the way…

  5. Randi

    Awww! Sugary! Thanks Mir, I needed something a little sweet and sappy today.

  6. Jamie

    Speechless. And a little weepy for you all!

  7. Ruth

    Great story; thanks. And a good reminder to be happy with what we have.

  8. Lisa

    Well, shoot, you made me cry! Especially being 7 years (9/22 – yay us!)into a happy second marriage, I know what it means to treasure those things we have to be grateful for.

  9. Beth R

    Wow. Just… wow.

  10. pharmgirl

    Your turn to buy Otto a journal.

  11. Betsy

    Crying over here, happy love thursday

  12. Megan

    30 points to Otto and a bonus 20 for the trade-in-the-kids comment.

    Just wondering… what kind of camera? Because, you know, that makes a big difference…

  13. Amelia

    are you trying to kill me? i’m pretty sure you’re trying to kill me. there. i’m on the floor. you’ll have to scrape me up with a spatula. are you happy now?!? :)
    beautiful words, a beautiful story…i am so glad you are recording it here, if not in a journal. (and congrats on unpacking those boxes!)

  14. Half Assed Kitchen

    That Otto. We love that he’s so good to you.

  15. JennyM


  16. Nicki

    I’ve been looking forward to this post since last night. So worth the wait. You are a constant source of hope and inspiration.
    Many thanks!

  17. Otto

    Megan –

    I was thinking of the new Leica M9 with a Leica Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 Aspherical lens. But I’ve been told to stop thinking about that.

    So I have.



  18. The Other Leanne

    Great, I’m just about to go interview consultants and I’m all red-nosed and teary. Thankyousomuch. I gotta remember not to read Thursday posts at work.

  19. Jennifer Joyner

    So happy that your family found its way together!

  20. Katie in MA

    And now *I’m* pretty close to bursting into tears!

    Happy Love Thursday!

  21. Anna

    Aww… so sweet.

    Oh, and I was 14 in 1994. *ahem* Sorry.

  22. feefifoto

    Sweet and simultaneously funny — a double play! Well done.

  23. Jackie Hall

    My question is…. are you going to start a journal for you and Otto’s marriage? I bet you would have lots to say in it. He seems like a wonderful man. You are very blessed to have to wonderful kids and a wonderful husband. :-)

  24. Sara

    I think the “trading the kids in” comment makes it absolutely perfect. It was too sappy to be believed otherwise. ;)

  25. Laura

    He’s a keeper!! But you already knew that. So glad I have a chance to read about the “good and the ‘not-so-good’ of your life now.

  26. Sheila

    Aww. You guys!

  27. Melissa

    *sniff* That was beautiful!

  28. Aunt Harriet

    Aloha niece,

    This is your Aunt who “would” like to remind you that some of your family did attend your first wedding. Wow…I must have been only about 20! Your grandmother was there, looking stunning in a beautiful royal blue dress (the most money she had ever spent on a dress, just to look good for you). I’m pretty sure that it was your wedding she came for although the “See’s” candy seemed pretty high on her list.

    I’m delighted to hear of your fabulous marriage and partner in life and share your happiness.

    Off to get a manicure. Want to go?
    Your proud Aunt

  29. Chuck

    Wow, that one was AWESOME! Well told, Mir.

  30. Karate Mom

    *sigh* I love your Love Thursday posts!

  31. jess

    I LOVE how you have four family members commenting on this post. It’s amazing how supportive your entire family seems of your writing and blogging. Wonderful! (Hi, Mir’s dad, Mir’s mom, Mir’s aunt, and Mir’s…Otto. ;~) )


  32. pam

    What Dad said.

  33. StephLove

    Did he do that on a Wednesday night on purpose?

  34. Heather

    Happy Love Thursday :)

  35. joaaanna


  36. Sarahtoo

    I love Love Thursday. Thanks for sharing, and for reminding me of all the things there are in my life to love. :)

  37. Lady M

    That was so amazing.

  38. Cele

    Tears, how beautiful.

  39. Eden

    dampish eyeballs… what an unexpected bundle of humor, love and gratitude. thank you so much for sharing.

  40. Mary

    I might have to stop reading on Thursdays! Too many tears – though usually happy ones!

    I’ll be married 22 years in less than 2 months – I also tell people I got married at 12!

  41. Brigitte

    Dying of the cuteness over here!

  42. Mary Fran

    We always talk about selling the kids on eBay. We think the one wth the curls would be worth more…

  43. Aimee

    I love your Love Thursday posts — even when I don’t get to read them until Friday.

    That Otto! He’s a keeper, for sure. Even if he was a bit slow on the update, back in the day. ;)

  44. ChristieNY

    Even though you don’t chronicle *everything* in your personal life here, I’d like to think this blog serves as a very sweet little journal of your own that has so many beautiful memories of adventures with your family in it.

    However, after that prayer, I’d be willing to bet a journal for Otto would yield some very entertaining material, maybe a journal present for *him* is in order? ;)

  45. Dawn


    I WANT AN OTTO!!!!

    Glad you have one, though. They sound like rather nice creatures.

  46. Tracy

    We are so blessed to have great men in our lives. My Otto goes by the name of Chuck but is so much like your Otto, it’s crazy. Happy Love Thursday (even though it’s Friday).

  47. Carol

    Thank you so much for that beautiful story. And, I, three, am truly blessed that God has given to me an Otto (Eddie) in my life as well. Even though it’s Friday too – HAPPY LOVE THURSDAY.

  48. Nicole

    Wow. Great story. Really good makings of a blockbuster romantic-comedy Judd Apatow kind of flick.

  49. roberta

    delurking……hot dammmmmmmmmmmm

  50. Laurie

    So nice, SO nice.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest