Seven years ago today, Spring came. The morning started with cloudy skies and sprinkles of rain but shortly after noon, the clouds parted and the sun shined through. It was my wedding day. The one with my life partner, my best friend, my kite string.
Exactly one year to the day before that, my husband and I had fallen in love. We were on our way to the Chili Ride with some friends of mine. I thought he looked handsome in bike pants and admired his truck. When loading up the bikes, he asked me, “Do you know much about knots?”. When I replied in the negative, he further inquired, “Do you want to learn?”. He didn’t automatically assume I DIDN’T know about knots. Gold star! Once he found out I didn’t know about knots, he DIDN’T assume I wanted him to bestow his vast knowledge on the topic. Double gold star! When I responded that I didn’t care to learn about knots, he respected my feelings. TRIPLE GOLD STAR!
On the truck ride to our destination, he questioned me about why I had agreed to come out of the “friend zone”. At one point he stated, “I think you are just dating me because I’m a nice guy.”. To which I replied, “Yes.”.
I did not know at the time that my simple affirmative made his heart stop. He had been used so many times by girls as a shoulder to cry on, a confidant, a friend, only to be left behind for another once her heart had healed. After a breath, I went on to say, “…but I’ve never dated a nice guy before. I can’t promise that this will work out but I can promise that I will let you know what I am thinking and feeling through this process. I know you well enough already that if I don’t really want to be with you, you won’t want to be with me.”. I sensed him relax as he breathed out heavily and agreed.
He let me in after that. That hard, cynical, shell around his heart and mine started to break away. As the day went on, more conversation, more caring, more love. It still gives me the warm fuzzies thinking about it (“warm fuzzies” is his term, I cherish it). Those moments are burned in my brain like scenes from my favorite movie, only more real. I can still smell his truck, remember the feel of the arm rest. I can see the warped steering wheel with his hands on it. It was cold that day, real cold. The ride was hard for me but Paul was patient and supportive. We made it, together.
We’d known each other for a while, but that day, I knew he was going to be someone special in my life for as long as I lived. We didn’t know at we would be so happily married this many years later but we did know that we’d care for each other, always. How many people know the exact day, the exact moment, they fell in love? Well, we do, so we commemorated that day one year later by getting married on a Monday.
And now, this morning, we’re both up before dawn. My son calls him “dad” without skipping a beat and wishes us “Happy Anniversary”. I remember the pain of past failed relationships only long enough to be grateful for the compassionate, thoughtful, wise man I see sitting before me sipping coffee. He still gives me warm fuzzzies now. Something deep down, peaceful, calm, comforting. He’s my husband and I am looking forward to the next 30 years.
Happy Anniversary, Handsome.
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading