And now I'm even more selfish, thinking, "It's so unfair that I would get to marry the best possible person in the world for me -- but only for 15 years."
Our ceremony was at noon on Saturday, July 2, 1994, at Schreiber Memorial United Methodist Church in North Dallas, the church Steve attended in high school and the church Jim and Betty still attend.
I was barely 22. He was 25. (My goodness, I'm thankful that we married when we did. I can't imagine having any less time with him.)
Steve Damm was more than my husband. He was my soul mate and best friend. He was my shelter. He provided stability and strength that granted me emotional peace and rest.
Most days I take comfort in knowing that we were blessed to be together even if only for 15 years. That together we created two amazing children. That I have a deep well of joyful, funny, spirit-strengthening memories from which to draw.
But right now I can't push aside the irrepressible ache from missing Steve. From wishing that we'd spend tomorrow together, celebrating our 17th anniversary with Cooper and Katie. From wanting to hear Steve tell stories about how we met (his version was always more entertaining than mine) and our engagement (and how I subsequently forced him to move to Lubbock) and our wedding day (Steve would always say that he was a wreck that morning, until he saw me).
Tomorrow won't be totally awful, of course. For one, I get to spend the day with Cooper and Katie. They both make me laugh all the time.
Take last night, for example. After my Bible study, Cooper and I were visiting.
"So, Momma, how was Bible study?" he asked. "Did you party? Or par-tay?"
It was exactly the sort of question Steve would have asked -- inflection and all.