38 Years with the Best Friend

Yesterday, Becky and I celebrated our thirty-eighth wedding anniversary, which was also our mutual 59th birthday. We got married June 5, 1985, on our 21st birthday, and every year I am more grateful that I have my best friend as my life partner. I asked her yesterday if she was ready to try for 38 more years, and she said yes! Relationships are not all roses and Valentines. It takes hard work to make a marriage work as a true partnership. But what an amazing payoff, to have someone who knows you so well, has been with you through all the changes, knows you and puts up with you even at your worst, and still loves you! I often compare a long marriage to a mature apple tree. The trunk is sturdier. The branches provide the best shade. And the fruit is sweeter. In honor of our Birthaversary, here is a selection of photos of us over the years:

Circa 1980, on campus at Alamo Heights High School, San Antonio, TX. (The pink stains on the print happened at some point over the years.) As this indicates, we’ve been dating since high school, so really, we’ve been together longer than our 38 years or marriage.


Circa 1981, at Becky’s parents’ house. We were on our way to a senior party. Alamo Heights did not have proms back then. Instead, there were approximately four ‘senior parties’ a year. Why were we holding peacock feathers? I’m not entirely sure.

1985, our wedding night at the Southwest Crafts Center, downtown San Antonio.

Same night. Of course, we had to have birthday candles on our wedding cake!

Circa 1988, at the Frio River near Concan, TX.

1989, Sonoma, CA, our ‘scouting trip’ to Northern California to see if we wanted to move there. We were ready for a change, and ended up moving there the next year. (The llama was not included.)

1990, shortly after we moved to Oakland, CA, we had this picture taken on the bay in Berkeley. We spent most of the 90s in the San Francisco area and had some wonderful adventures there!

1994, Oakland CA, Becky was pregnant with our first son Haley in this picture. We had no idea what to expect from parenthood, we were terrified, but we were very glad we’d had a number of years to establish our relationship as a couple before we had kids.

1998, New York City, the night when I won the Edgar Award for my second adult mystery novel The Widower’s Two-Step. I was still teaching full-time, but this was one of the first moments I thought, ‘Okay, maybe this writing thing will work out.’ Becky never doubted it and always supported me.

1999, back in San Antonio where we raised our kids. That’s Haley in my arms. Patrick our second son had recently been born, but he’s not in this shot. This was when a Barnes & Noble sign for my events was still a very new experience!

2003, Saint Mary’s Hall, San Antonio, TX. This was my farewell party during my last year of teaching, when I had sold The Lightning Thief and had decided to try being a full-time writer. Again, I was terrified and had no idea what to expect. None of it could have happened without Becky!

2015 Delos, Greece, during a cruise, we stopped at the birth island of the god Apollo. It seemed appropriate! By this time we had moved to Boston and were able to take lots of fun trips with the kids.

2016, at our apartment in New York, which we bought in 2014. We were on our way to the Authors Guild dinner to honor Suzanne Collins.

2021, St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands, where I did some diving to research for Daughter of the Deep.

2023, County Cork, Ireland, just last month!

We still are having great adventures and I look forward to many more with this wonderful woman. Whatever people you choose to have in your life, I hope that those relationships are as meaningful and long-lasting as ours has been. May your roots grow deep, your trunk always be sturdy, and your fruit be sweet!




Rick Riordan