Two score and three years ago

Brian & Steph

Forty three years ago, God gave me the greatest gift when He sent my husband to this Earth for me. (way to make his birthday all about you, Stephanie)

Years ago, in one of my very darkest times, a friend tried to offer encouragement that only felt like bragging. My marriage was in the process of being deconstructed between lawyers and property divided and kids who would, for the rest of their childhood be shuffled from place to place, being discussed only as the “dependents” and my heart was shattered and she offered this: “When my husband walks into the room, everyone comments on how I light up” and I wanted to physically harm her. Not the time. Not the place. Fifteen years later, I would still contend that it was hurtful, but it also must have been something that I needed to know… that love feels like always believing the room is better with the presence of your beloved in it.

I met Brian in a bar. He was not my intended target. In fact, my nanny was hopeful that she could set me up with her math professor. As we walked over to where her math professor was waiting, my eyes connected with a friend he was talking to and I said “welp… I hope he’s the guy on the right because he’s going to be my husband.”

Because this is my story, clearly math professor was on the left. Ha.

Brian and I talked and talked. His friends circled round a few times to see if he was ready. Mine did the same. I shared my feeling that we should get married. He didn’t ask for my number. My friends spent the next few weeks in shifts trying to convince me that he wasn’t interested, but I knew that he was the one. I called him Mr Wonderful. They tried to get me to accept that it wasn’t happening.

One night a number I didn’t recognize rang, and while it was ringing my nanny was also calling. When I answered she said “I hope it’s okay…” and I knew the end of the sentence was “…that I gave B your number” so I clicked over to his call on the last ring.

On the night of our first date, a woman at the next table kept staring at us. When B left to go to the restroom, she approached and sat in his seat. “How long have you been married?” she asked. “Oh..” I said, “it’s our first date” and was met with shock. She went on to inform me that we were soul mates, and our auras had combined. Him Blue, me Red… the area surrounding us Purple.

I am going to tell you that I do not believe in auras and soul mates, but he has made my world purple ever since that night. Every single weak spot of mine, he has made whole with his strength. I like to think it’s reciprocated. I want to tell you it’s been easy, effortless, made simple and seamless by the fact that we are “soul mates” but that would be a lie and does a disservice to marriage. There were hard spots that hurt. There were times that we wondered if we could get over the hurdle in front of us. We’ve cried tears together and we have cried tears because of each other. And we have spent 13 years learning to love each other better, stronger than the day before. There is no better man on Earth.

Here is what I want you to know, my sweet husband,
You are strong. Truthful. Thoughtful. Brilliant. Stern. Stuffy. Rigid. I am both sorry and proud that I messed everything up for you and that you loved me enough to let me. You are the truest thing that has ever existed in my crazy life, and I adore you. I want to be old and grey and together until the very end. I hope we never lose that passion that made a crazy lady in a chain restaurant seem wise in her infinite aura-reading wisdom. Soul mates or not, you are the one for me, and even if our wedding was the least romantic day ever, I am thankful that we make it magic every other day. You are everything that I hope our sons will be. Everything I hope our daughters find. And absolutely everything to me.

A few weeks ago I was in the grocery story next to the Barber shop with our littlest and you saw the van there and popped in to surprise us. As I was walking along the aisle and looked up and saw you, I knew that my face must have lit up, because my heart did. I had not thought of that conversation in so many years, but I remembered it as I drove home.

Thanks for being my forever. Thanks for making every room better when you are in it. Thanks for texting me every morning, even though I have a return text rate of less than 50%. Thanks for using dorky words like “delta” and trusting that I know what you are talking about. Thanks for telling me when my ideas are stupid in a way that doesn’t make me feel stupid. Thanks for supporting my only slightly less than stupid ideas like you believe they are great, just because you believe that I am.

Happy birthday, Mr Wonderful.

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