To Amber (Happy Birthday)

In the fall of 1998, in the foothills of the Ozarks, I met an Appalachian girl. Amber had just turned 19, spoke with a poured-on accent, and wore purple bows in her hair (though not voluntarily, but that’s a different story).  She wrote poems on napkins, scribbled theology in the margins of her childhood bible, questioned everything–even the wind.  She had a pair of bare-threaded jeans, the kind people pay high-dollar for now days.  She’d thinned her denim honestly and made sure to tell you so. She wasn’t much for pretense.

We married in the fall of 1999 at the Guntersville Church of Christ. After the wedding we were carried to the reception hall by way of horse and buggy. The driver was an old drunk of a farmer and he offered me a nip of whiskey, said it’d take the edge off. I didn’t imbibe because I was Baptist at the time and not overly keen on lipping another man’s flask. I remember Amber giggling at the exchange, and I half-believe that if the old farmer had offered the flask to her she would have accepted it. Amber’s nothing if not mostly grace.

We’ve been married these almost thirteen years now, a anniversarial landmark which in my youth would make a married couple seem near ancient. But we’re not ancient. We’re still young at heart even though we’re growing older around the corners of our eyes. The practicalities of life will do that to a couple.

I’ve celebrated fourteen birthdays with her, a number which reminds me that we’ve grown into adulthood together. She gets better with age, sure. I know that sounds like a wasted cliche these days, what with all the proletariat wine-enthusiast and country singers running amok, sloshing overused metaphors haphazardly upon the concrete floors of Arkansan taverns. It’s true though. She’s born ordeals, shared in joys, experienced disappointment, wandered in the unknowns; she’s been refined and looks all the better for it.

The measure of a woman’s beauty is calculated by the consistency of her years. Amber, my lady, is constant.

You’re still my best friend. Happy birthday, Amber!

*****

Today is Amber’s Birthday. Hop over here (where I’ve hacked her blog) and wish her well.

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20 Responses to To Amber (Happy Birthday)

  1. annkroeker says:

    Sweet like tea…love this. You are open and vulnerable…and strong.

  2. annkroeker says:

    And fun, even in life’s struggles.

  3. Love this Seth. Praying there’s good blessing in this day.

  4. I’m for fun just now, friend. Happy birthday to your beautiful best friend. Hope you can find a way to celebrate for a few hours and leave the worries – if not behind you, at least on the back burner for a little piece of time.

  5. Susan says:

    WordPress.comDear Seth,

    I can’t remember how I started reading your blog…I’m just glad I did.

    Our pastor son and daughter-in-law just celebrated their 14th anniversary this week. Congratulations you two ancients, and happy birthday Amber!

    Seth, your writing is absolutely lovely. It possess a lyrical quality that appeals, and you construct some kickin’ word pictures! You write from an honest heart without causing us readers (this one at least) to feel like peepers. And last but certainly not least, you don’t come to the bloggers table with an axe to grind. What a relief!

    God bless you all over more than anyplace else, Susan V. Smith (Mom and Nanny) Charlotte, NC —

  6. Sarah H says:

    You’ve got the alma mater stuck in my head now 🙂

  7. hopefulleigh says:

    What a beautiful gift to Amber, Seth! I love the two of you muchly.

  8. Sarah Denley says:

    What a lovely description of a lovely person. I’m so enjoying “getting to know” your family a little lately. You two inspire me in a way few do, Seth.

  9. Stace says:

    Mmmmm, makes me smile…..i actually did, the whole way through that!!!! she IS wonderful and so blessed to have to 🙂
    love y’all

  10. Robin Dance says:

    Best birthday card, evah, Seth…it even rivals the ML :).

  11. Nothing more precious to a wife than beautifully written words from her husband. It never gets old. She must adore you as you do her.

  12. Happy birthday Amber, and what a fitting tribute. I love seeing your love for one another.

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