31 years ago…
On this day, a darling little baby boy was born. He would become a teenager of the 1990’s, one who dated several girls in high school (each a friend of mine), broke their hearts (or so they thought!) and said yes to me late one night in February of 1995 when I asked him to be my date for Tolo. April 1 of that same year, not knowing each other too well at all, we ice skated, held hands for the first time and spent the night away talking (truly, just talking) until 5 AM the next morning. By April 9, we were officially an item (whatever that meant then). It was our junior year of high school. Not long after that, I knew in my heart this was the boy I was going to marry.
That was 13 years ago. There are a lot of things that I love about Christopher. The first that comes to mind is that he has always been more free to be himself that me, I admire that quality a great deal. I also am deeply grateful for his quick and genuine forgiveness of me. When we were 19 and at separate colleges, I made some poor choices. He drove across the Canadian border in the middle of the night to tell me he forgave me and that he still loved me with all his heart. As if I were not in love with him enough already, that sealed my heart to his in ways I can’t quite describe. That is still one of his most endearing qualities, probably because it is an area where I personally am greatly lacking.
He constantly would lay his own desires and needs down on my behalf. Lacking the money to get a plane ticket to my friend’s wedding in the mountains of British Columbia, he drove me there in his old Geo Prism, stopping only for gas 9 hours straight then he turned around and drove home the same day.
I love his honesty and integrity. You won’t find him talking about people behind their backs, he always aims to address people if he has a problem. He speaks the truth, even when it is unpopular.
He possesses a quiet, deep strength that before I had children I saw glimpses of but the day Rylee was born as I endured pitocin-induced labor for seven hours, he is the reason I wasn’t screaming for an epidural. He was so strong and so calm in that hospital room and as he forced my head up to look in his eyes and just breath, I felt like I could do just about anything.
The tender heart that wooed me to him with notes baked secretly into homemade brownies, spent hundreds of hours talking about nothing on the phone until 3 AM, wrote dozens of old-fashioned love letters to me in college, planned day trips and outings time and again to get me away from school-that heart is the part I love the most.
From October 1996 in one of my first college love letters from Christopher-we were 18 years old:
“I am so glad you came up to see me this weekend. Just being able to look deep into your eyes and to hold you tenderly in my arms was incredible. When I first saw you my heart began to race. You affect me so very much.”
“All I can think about is how amazing you are. You make me smile. You allow me to feel, to love, to anticipate life. I want you to know every little thing about me. I want to know everything about you. I would love to just spend the rest of my life learning to love you and learning every detail that makes you the most incredible girl I have ever encountered. I love you so much. You are a part of my very existence.”
What girl in the world doesn’t dream of these kind of letters being penned to her name? I have dozens of envelopes tied up in pink bows. It warms my heart to pull them out again and be reminded of those days. We are many years past that unbridled desire to be together as we toughed it out at our separate schools. Life has bruised and broken us many times over. We have experienced more pain that I imagined possible at this ripe age of 31. That being said, there is no one I would rather be walking the road with than him…..for all the reasons listed above, and many more.
Happy birthday my beloved, my friend.