I met you when I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for myself. I was hurting, had lost hope and to put it simply,was trying to heal. Finding love was the last thing I was interested in, in fact, I had already decided to “play the field” and not commit until I could repair the broken parts of myself. But you were determined, relentless and undeniably charming. And, as I eventually learned, someone I couldn’t resist.
I met you at the hardest point in my life. I know I’ve told you this a hundred times but I just still ask myself how I made it through those years of being a single mom, working full time and going to college full time. I remember that all I wanted at that point is for life to be “easier”. I don’t even think I knew what that meant exactly. I just knew it was hard to wake up every morning, hard to stay positive, hard to fulfill every commitment I had made and every responsibility that came with this life I chose. What still has me in awe is how you took it all on, without hesitation or fear. You stepped up when most people would have run away as fast as they could.
I know I didn’t make it easy on you from the beginning. You were so much younger and, on the surface, seemed like everything I didn’t need. But, thankfully, you didn’t take “no” for an answer. That confidence was intriguing to me. I wanted one quarter of it. Your personality was infectious; your laugh, your silliness, your energy, your smile. It was everything I was lacking in my life. It grew on me. You grew on me. Ultimately, I had to take the leap. There was too much electricity. Everything that didn’t sound right when you said it outloud, felt right deep down to my soul. There was an undeniable connection.
Of course, the first year was absolutely perfect. You proved your love for me by making time for me, respecting me, showing me love in all of the usual ways. You even confronted my boss when he made a very irresponsible mistake and tried to put the blame on me. I called you, crying, distraught and completely heart-broken. You didn’t even ask, you simply did what you felt was right-you fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself. That was the second time I fell in love with you and that time I was all-in. You were protective. And that kind of protection made me feel safe in a way I hadn’t felt safe since I left my parents house. For the first time in years, I didn’t feel like I was alone. That feeling of protection and safety gave me a strength I had lost years before that. And little by little, your love helped me become stronger.
Our first year of living together was rough. We both had to learn to adjust, learn to accept each other’s faults that we knew nothing about during that first year. It was typical of any young couple beginning a life together. But, what made it extra special for me was that you not only committed to living with and taking care of me but you also made that commitment to my son.
This is where the rubber met the road. And everything you promised, everything you said you were, you believed in, you stood for-it was all proven. You were the man I needed and the man he needed. He didn’t even know it and truthfully, didn’t want it. But you lived as an example to both of us. An example of self-less love, devotion and proof that promises are kept. You were still growing through it all and that’s probably what makes this so damn amazing! It was just who you were, who you are. Most people have to experience things to learn what you knew naturally. Surely it was the way you were raised, knowing your parents there is no doubt in my mind about that. I just can’t believe how blessed I have been to be the person who gets to spend my life with you.
The years that followed that first year only got better. There were so many times I would be sitting next to you on the couch with no make-up, hair in a ponytail and old sweats and you would look at me, out of nowhere, and tell me how beautiful I was. Sometimes we would be driving and you would just look over and say how lucky you were to have me (even though I knew I was the lucky one). With every compliment and every word of encouragement, my confidence climbed. And that guard I had up when you met me, the fear that paralyzed me and the distrust that threatened to ruin me, slowly slipped away. I could feel myself becoming the person I was always meant to be. You knew I had been through hell. But instead of letting that scare you away, you loved me patiently and so deeply that I began to love myself again. Your love has made me healthier and stronger because you helped me to realize that while I can do things on my own, I don’t have to.
Your love has made me feel good enough. I never feel like I have to compete for your attention. You make me believe that I am the only one you will ever love. And while things change, I know the promises you make, you keep. So, when you tell me you will always fight for us, I believe you. And as we plan our future together, I know times will sometimes be challenging again. I don’t know to what degree or the reasons behind the challenges. But I know that whatever our future looks like, we are in it together. I know our bond. I know how deep your love is for me and trust me when I say, I can’t ever put into words how deeply I love you. But, my words on this page are my way of trying. You have given me everything in a love that I have ever wanted. You have built me up and given me the strength to feel confident in myself. You have given me hope for the future I’ve always wanted. You have showed me what devotion, trust and faithfulness mean. You have made me feel loved, protected and safe.
You have loved me perfectly.