We talked on the phone; we had been set up against our “better” judgment by a caring and persistent friend. It was easy to talk to you and I was surprised how much we had in common. That first phone conversation lasted an hour and forty minutes. I was intrigued. You seemed pretty great but I was scared. What if I gave this a shot and put my heart on the line again only to be hurt? Here we were though, developing a friendship.
Our first date we went for Thai, which happened to be my favorite and yours. I wore an orange dress, heel boots, jewelry, straightened my hair, and did full make-up. Just because I was nervous to go on a date didn’t mean I wasn’t going to give this all the attention it deserved. Before I left the house where my mom was babysitting, I asked if it was “too much”. She assured me the outfit was “just right”. I got there and we ordered our spicy food. We ate and talked. The time simply flew. We met at 6:30 but before I knew it I looked around and the restaurant was empty except for the two of us and the employees—we had closed them out!
I worried about one thing in particular during that early period and it seems seem so funny to me now. I simply didn’t find you attractive back then. Your eyes, your eyes were beautiful and I could lose myself there… but the whole bald head thing threw me for a loop. Little did I know you weren’t so sure about the petite (short) brunette thing either. Haha! We were both dating against “type”. The attraction came in time, and the nice thing about it not being immediate was that it didn’t distract us from getting to know one another.
On our second date we met at a locally-owned coffee shop. When you walked in moments after me, you were holding a vase of my favorite flowers. They aren’t a typical favorite flower—they’re alstroemerias. This is something you’d casually gotten to come up in conversation over the phone and then you’d remembered the name. To say I was pleasantly shocked would be an understatement. I was impressed that you were both clever and thoughtful. Our conversation was not the cursory shallow stuff typical of second dates. Pretenses didn’t exist, likely because neither of us was really looking to find each other in the first place. It was a situation of, “Here I am, flaws and all. Take me or leave me.” Though we met at 2 pm, we sat there in the coffee shop late enough that they were locking the doors. Here we were again, closing a business.
Fast forward to now, seven months in. You’ve seen me at my absolute best and you’ve seen me, hands down, at my absolute worst. You’ve chosen me, though, day after day, week after week. Somehow, you look on me with grace and delight. You see me as a work of art. You’re in awe of me. I know all this because you make it a point to tell me; you also make it a point to show me. You’ve told me you’ve never really experienced love until you were with me.
I’ve seen you, too, good times and bad. I keep choosing you daily. That’s what love does. There’s no one else I’d rather have at my side. You are strong in the moments I’m weak. I have spent too much time in the past worrying that I’m not good enough for you because, yes, I think you’re that amazing. It’s a joy to go hang out with our kids together, to cook for you, to clean up dinner with you, to go on dates with you, even to sit silently and hold your hand. I just enjoy your presence. It’s not something magical you do, it’s who you are. I know that with you I am safe, loved, and cherished.
I see the way you love my little girls… it’s something I dreamed of but was never really sure they would have. The night you told me you loved them like your own it left me speechless and sobbing because I was completely overwhelmed. To see one of the deepest desires of my heart fulfilled? To have my daughters loved like that? Praise be to God; for I hadn’t quite had the faith to believe it would happen.
As a beautiful part of the package that encompasses loving you, you come with a preteen daughter. I’m so thankful for her. She so seamlessly stepped into my home the first night I met her and instantly clicked with my little girls. She warmed up to me pretty quickly, too, which was awesome, as I could understand her having reservations. She is loving, smart, funny, musically talented, and kind. We’re always excited to spend time with her. She’s quick to jump in and help me with the girls or things around the house, which is greatly appreciated. It took almost no time at all for her to be deeply and irrevocably embedded in my heart alongside the daughters I birthed.
Don, you are a gift quite wonderful and unexpected. I do not know why the Lord has seen fit to bless me with yet another great love but I am grateful. I’ve said this before and I will say it again—you are beyond what I could have even dreamed of for myself. I love you as you are and I plan to keep you. You’re it for me.