Seventeen years ago, we had our first date. I'm amazed how time is relative.
The smell of my dorm room that day lingers omnipresent. I carefully chose my clothes, and made sure that green was part of my outfit. It was Saint Patrick's Day, and I was attending a free band concert with you at Humanities Hall. I was so "in like" with you at the time that I could think of nothing else.
I hemmed and hawed around what I might say or how I might say something to you. Nervous was just the tip of the ice berg, but I hoped it wouldn't show on my face or in my demeanor. You held my hand and smiled as we walked down the street. I hoped my hand wasn't sweaty. The music was pretty, and I shifted in my chair a bit as you sat next to me. I nervously laughed at certain points, and that at the end of the evening, we had our first, very akward kiss.
It was the beginning of us. We were immature, attempting to find out who we were as adults, yet still often acting like children. I was terrified to tell you that I "liked" you, and you were unsure as well.
Who we were then is not who we are now, but those memories help create who we are now.
It simply amazes me what we have gone through since that day 17 years ago. You and I have grown up and into adults with responsibilities. Along the way, there has been heart break, but also an unabiding love. We've always been a sort of contradiction, but in the same sense, we fit together perfectly. We laugh. We fight. We cry. We share. We annoy. We love. We are one.
We are one entity trying to make our way through life and address the challenges and celebrate successess together.
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Seven years ago, you met me at the front of the church. You smiled, and I melted on the inside. That day, we were finally joined in marriage. Our priest joked that the statute of limitations on dating had finally run out. Even then, you and I were both scared yet still very much in love. We committed even though the committment had been born long before that. We created two beautiful daughters together. We created a life as a family. We learned that Alpha-1 was a common gene shared between us. We learned that Alpha-1 would not pull us apart nor our children. We survived preeclampsia, temporary blindness, prematurity, and mononucleosis.
We still survive. We still love. We are one. We are united. We love.
For all of that, I thank you Charlie.
I love you always,