EA Ferree and I were born three days apart in 1983. When guys from my freshman hall came into BCM to throw me into the lake for my birthday, someone (probably Justin Nelson) remarked that EA’s birthday was coming up too. As a result, we both got tossed into the beautiful looking, but goose-toilet-in-reality Furman Lake that night. Somewhere there is a picture of the two of us; soaking wet but smiling despite the fact that we were still spitting out that putrid water.
Technically, that is not where the story of us began. For the next year, we were casual acquaintances at best. It wasn’t until the drama team of which I was in charge was asked to lead a youth group meeting at EA’s church that we spent any significant time together. And then we ended up falling for each other over the next few months.
But I like the lake story because it has all the makings of a meet-cute in a formulaic romantic comedy; except it didn’t take. If it had been anyone else, it would have just been a footnote in the story about that time I was ambushed and thrown into a lake on my 19th birthday. Instead that random girl with a birthday three days after me ended up becoming my best friend and my wife.
Nine years ago, EA and I exchanged vows on a theater stage. It simultaneously seems like yesterday and—especially when we are trying to contain the beautiful chaos that is our two boys—a million years ago. No matter how near or far the day seems, I am so profoundly grateful for that day because EA Cox is awesome.
There is no one else that I would rather live alongside than EA. Nine years in, she is still the fiercely intelligent, funny, passionate, and beautiful woman that walked down the aisle on our wedding day. In fact, she is those things all the more today. I would not be the man that I am today if not for her encouragement and challenging me in the best of all possible ways. I have gotten to see her become an invaluable educator and an incredible mother. Going through seminary, she has kept me on my toes with her insatiable curiosity about faith. I could go on and on. Like I said, she’s awesome.
So I am thankful today and everyday. I am thankful for our love, for the way that we help each other through the labyrinth is adulthood by leading according to our strengths, for the way in which together we have gotten through whatever difficulty that has come our way. I am filled with gratitude for so very much.
Happy Anniversary Beautiful. I am so fortunate that I get to share life with you and I would do the whole thing over again (actually, I would have liked it if someone had brought us food when we were taking wedding pictures, but you already knew that and would want that too). I’m excited about what’s next for our family. I love you more than you’ll know.