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“Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.”
The night you found me all those years ago, I fully recognize was an incredible gift. I was lost and in many ways, a broken replica of my former self at the time. Life had done quite a number on me and I had all but given up on happily ever afters.
But there you stood across the room…with an inexplicable light behind you, making you stand out among all the other shadows in the room. In some strange way, I remember feeling I already knew you.
Was it love at first sight? I like to think so…
After a brief courtship, when you asked me to marry you, I agreed without the slightest hesitation and it’s been a whirlwind of living ever since.
Babies came soon after, 1,2,3,4. Happiness surrounded us like wild flowers bursting around every corner of our lives. I could have never imagined this story could be all mine… chapter after chapter, written so full, so happy, so full of laughter and adventure.
Then came the years you so graciously took a backseat to the children. You knew you didn’t come first…in our family, heck you didn’t even come in second. With four children, most days, you came in fifth if you were lucky! You knew I was exhausted and you never said a word. You simply waited patiently by, last man standing in line.
But it did take a toll on you didn’t it? It had to.. and at the time I didn’t even notice because I was so overwhelmed with bathing, feeding, cooking, cleaning, diapers, laundry, homework, carpool, PTA, doctor visits and teacher conferences.
Looking back, how in the world did we do it?
And then one day, as it is so often with life, the tides suddenly changed. When the storms came they drove us apart from each other. We felt alone and isolated from one another while battling issues we thought the other could not possibly understand.. the loss of parents. Disappointments with dreams and aspirations. The grey areas of raising the children. Uncontrollable worry. Financial problems. The stresses of work. Insomnia. Health issues. People from the outside who broke our hearts. The times we went to bed angry…the times we thought about giving up…
And then one day, as quickly as they formed, the clouds just simply disappeared. Did we even notice? Were we so busy with our lives, treading water, that we returned to our “normal” without even realizing it?
I just remember, out of the blue, you reached over and held my hand while we were in the car and suddenly, the loneliness was over. We smiled at each other without saying a word but somehow, I knew the storm had passed and we were going to be okay.
This cycle happened many times throughout the many chapters of our story together…each time ending with you holding my hand, letting me know we were going to be okay. Always my rock.
Today our children are all grown and have lives of their own. We did a good job, you and me. They are amazing people that I am proud to share with the world. Our pride and joy.
I look across the room as I type on my computer. You’re sitting in your favorite chair, wearing your favorite slippers that I got you for Christmas. You fell asleep before the nightly news was over, as you do every night and as if on cue, you have begun the climax to our evening…by slightly snoring. The sound of it makes me warm inside. It makes me smile. It reminds me, I am home.
You are not the young man I first laid eyes on all those years ago but you still have a light that shines behind you, singling you out just for me.
Our faces now are slightly weathered, muscle tone isn’t what it once was and we don’t move as fast anymore. But I am in awe of the life we’ve created together and the calmness we instill in one another while still battling life and all it chooses to throw our way. I’m grateful for the examples we have set for our children, the friends we’ve made over the years, the laugh lines we’ve earned.
We have become what I never dreamed possible in my early years… we have become the epitome of a life well-lived.
And in the end…isn’t that what we’re all praying for? Our very own “happily ever after“?
So what do you say? Let’s go all the way to the finish line together. Let’s weather all the pesky storms. Let’s travel the world together. Let’s laugh until our sides hurt. Let’s rewrite the definition of “the back nine” and make other people want to be us. Let’s savor every blessed moment, child, grandchild, friendship and great bottle of wine with the gusto of a thousand vikings marching off to battle!
Until my last breath, you will be forever and always, my special gift, my knight in shining armor..my light. You know I would follow you anywhere.
So one last request?
Grow old with me?…
Much love & blessings,