So excited to share another letter to someone I love so dearly and that is my darling husband – Dr. Eric D. Russell. We have been married for 21 years and he is the love of my life. I am writing to him as his “Temi”, which is his pet name for me. It is one of my Nigerian names and it means – “mine”. I hope it will inspire you to think about your marriage and the vows that you took. For those of you who are not married, I hope this will serve as a good example that you can use later on in life.
Surprise, this letter is to you! I know you read my blog and wanted to express what the past 21 years of being married to you have meant to me. A couple of weeks ago, we went to my colleague Monique’s wedding. During the ceremony I began to reflect on our marriage and the thought came to my mind – would I do it all over again? As we listened to the couple exchange their vows, I think back to when I said those same words over 21 years ago:
For Better or Worse……….The early years of our marriage were a mixture of so many things because of the circumstances at the time. It was like a Tale of Two Cities – “it was the best of times and the worst of times”. It was the worst of times because we didn’t have a wedding, didn’t have any money, didn’t have much of anything. We lived in an efficiency apartment on Ohio State’s Campus. All our friends and family didn’t know what to say to us. It was you and I against the world! But crazy as it sounds, it is also what made it the best of times. We had the Lord and each other. And that is what kept us. You have never been the romantic type but I have to admit that I do love a lot of the little things you do to show me that you love me. You have always been my friend, my confidant and one of my biggest supporters.
For Richer of For Poorer………… I think back to that tiny apartment we had and how we ate on campus because it was free and I just wonder how on earth we made it! I laugh when I think about us sleeping on a twin size bed…..boy that was something! Lol………. Now, after 21 years, better jobs and 2 beautiful children later I see how we made it. It was the Lord and also the fact that when we started out we had nothing! Babe, I believe that our latter shall be greater than our former. You made me some promises and I am going to wait patiently as the Lord helps you to fulfill those promises to me because I do believe that the best is yet to come!
In sickness and in health……….OH EM GEEEEEEEE……I never thought in a million years that I would have to face this one! It still makes me emotional when I think back on that day when you had the level 4 aneurysm & stroke you were laying there in so much pain and agony. That night in the hospital the nurse asked you if you knew who I was and all you did was looked in my direction and then you turned your head the other way. I could tell that you did not have any recollection of who I was. My heart was broken! Would you ever remember? Was I going to be a stranger to you? Would you be able to love me the same way? I didn’t have any answers, I was helpless and I did not know what the future was going look like. I knew the saints were praying but I was so, so scared. But thanks be to God, who gave us the victory!
One of the sweetest and happiest moments for me was one of the days when your memory was getting a little better. I left to get you some food and when I came back into the hospital room and you looked up at me and smiled and said “hey I missed you, where did you go?” I said “I went to get you some food” and you replied “that’s so nice of you”. A nurse was taking your vital signs at the time and she said to you – “Who is this pretty lady?” You looked over and whispered “That’s Dr. Christy, she’s my wife”. Then you extended your hand to me, I took your hand and I leaned toward you and you gently kissed my forehead. That tender moment brought me to tears and I began to feel like everything was going to be okay.
Babe, when I said my vows I meant every word. I never thought life would come and test my devotion in so many ways. But, as I look back on everything we have been through, Yes I would definitely do it all over again! I hold strong to my committment to be your wife, your help and your friend. I know I don’t tell you often enough but I admire so many things about you. I love the way you make me laugh. I love the way you allow me to be myself. I love how you make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world! I love the fact that you are not intimidated by my strengths.
To sum it all up – I love how you love me. If the Lord should delay his coming, I look forward to another 21 years with you!
I will always be forever your Temi and I will continue to walk with you!