I’ve never been very good at predicting my future, but occasionally I get it right. I wrote these words in a note to Lynn sometime in 1986 or 1987, when we were in our early twenties:
Darling, I know you wonder whether I really need you. I know that you will be insecure from time to time and there is really nothing I can do about it but keep loving you and proving your doubts wrong. But I hope, darling, that someday — someday after we’ve been together for twenty or thirty years, when we’ve loved each other, stayed with each other, been apart, been together, been happy, been sad, and still our love is as strong as ever — I hope that then maybe you will accept that I love you, I need you, and NOTHING will ever pull me away from you. For me, love is for keeps.
At that age, I had only the vaguest notions of where I was headed. But apparently some aspects of my future were absolutely clear to me, like a lighthouse shining out through otherwise impenetrable fog. I knew that promises were just promises, but I also knew that given time, I could prove to Lynn that I meant what I said.
Now, I’m astonished to realize that I’ve been working on that proof for a quarter of a century, and I hope maybe my deeds have shown the truth of my words. Today is our twenty-third wedding anniversary, but I’m not done proving my point. I meant it then, and I meant it now. I’m not going anywhere.
Happy anniversary, darling.