Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li

Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li 
My Dear Scott,
I repeated those words—Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li, from Song of Songs 6:3—under the chuppah on May 30, 1993, declaring that “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” They are the words inscribed on the back of our wedding rings.
Later that evening, while the band played, our first dance was to Bette Midler’s “The Gift of Love.”
You ask me what I want.
You ask me what I need.
It's nothing you can buy.
My heart's not ruled by greed.
I don't love a diamond.
Diamonds you see through.
I want you to hold me.
I want you to be true.

Give me the gift of love.
Look me in the eyes.
Say I'm the one you're dreaming of.
That'd be the best surprise.
Give me the gift of your sweet love
In the light of the day,
In the dark of night.

Today we mark 21 years of marriage. I think I’ll call it our “Black Jack” year, in the hopes that this year brings us great moments and good luck. Last year as we celebrated our 20th anniversary, I remember reflecting with you on so many of our milestone events over the previous 20 years: The birth of our three children; our cross country move from Sacramento, California, to Cincinnati, Ohio; the numerous trips we took, as a family and as a couple, to destinations near and far. We also tried to imagine where the next 20 years would take us, dreaming about graduations, weddings, travel and grandchildren.
Never could we have fathomed how our lives would come to a complete halt only one month later. How would we survive this turn of events, as a couple, as parents, as individuals? It certainly hasn’t been easy, we’ve both had to accommodate different emotions, expectations and needs while we have continued on this path. But through it all, we have stayed right by each other, holding hands and moving forward. I couldn’t imagine anyone else I would want beside me, through those darkest hours and through the glimmers of hope and progress.
I remember turning to you in the first couple of days after Ethan’s injury, holding you tight and saying that we were going to need to lean on each other more than ever before. There was no other option except to trust that our love would anchor us through the trying and turbulent months (and years) ahead. I believe that we will continue to use our love to keep us steady and to propel us forward.
My love for you has only grown stronger this year.
Here’s to our Black Jack year!
Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li,