30 Aug The Story of Us
Our story began the evening a mutual friend invited me to a BBQ at your home.
I had worked a ten hour shift and just wanted to go home, shower, put on my pajamas, and snuggle in with my fur baby for the evening. And yet, there I was.
I must have been hungry. Ha!
The food was amazing and you made me laugh almost the entire evening. I felt a little shy and awkward as I found you wildly attractive. The thing that stuck out in my memory was at the end of the evening – you got down on one knee and proposed with a lifesaver. You announced that evening to everyone that one day I would become your future wife.
Fast forward to a few months later – after several conversations, telephone calls, and messaging back and forth we finally reconnected in person. I will never forget that night as we kissed for hours and you told everyone we had been married for eight years and had twelve children.
We became an “official couple” on November 12, 2010.
Love is wild and strange and exciting, isn’t it? Beyond the fire and the passion and the romance and late night conversations and impromptu dances at twilight, I found in you something older than time. It was deeper than the fleeting feelings of lust and want and desire and need – though those things were so present. It was a wiser kind of love that would withstand the tests of time.
I remember us sitting in your truck and just talking for hours. We both said we didn’t want to get married. We both exposed our wounds at the same time. We both said we would rather choose each other each and every day because we wanted to – not because we were bound by law and a piece of paper.
I still clearly remember our camping trip to La Porte, Little Grass Valley Reservoir. You taught me how to fish on that trip (and after getting my 1st bite, I became your biggest competitor – hook, line, and sinker). I remember sitting on a couple of tree stumps looking out at the turquoise water as the sun began to set. The sky turned ablaze in vibrant hues of deep yellows, pinks and purples and splashes of orange. It was like in that moment, God painted a canvas just for you and I.
I remember you very shyly saying, “I love you,” almost in a whisper. And then matter of factly with that sweet charm of yours and sly smile. Of course I said it back as a million butterflies took flight in my belly. You took my breath away.
From there it was a whirlwind romance: camping trips, fishing competitions, our yearly trips to Sacramento, the Fishing Expo, the fair, movies, shows, basketball games, our mutual love of sushi, long hikes, holidays with family, countless road trips, Bodega Bay, Monterey, the shooting range…
You always take me to the most beautiful places. I will never forget hiking in (or I suppose I should say trespassing) to the most beautiful cove full of wildflowers, waterfalls colliding, and the trout jumping in the stream. You seemed to understand what I was needing long before I could recognize it myself. Remember our midnight fishing at Marina Bay in Richmond, CA?! You fed my inner wildish woman and said you loved how I saw the whole world as one big adventure.
And then I moved in. I came one night and sort of just never left. I remember a couple weeks had passed and you asked me if I was living there now and shouldn’t we get my things from my apartment? Ha! I hadn’t even thought or wondered if I had overstayed my welcome. You felt like home and that was the only place I wanted to be. Right there with you – in your arms.
We quickly became a family and I was over the moon to become first friends and then mother to your son. And thus began the chronicles of hormones and teen angst and watching him grow from a 13 year old boy into a young man.
And who would have thought that just a year into cohabitation my health would take a rapid decline as I struggled with my breast health – knowing how much you’re a “Boob Man.” And then came two surgeries, the loss of our baby, and the loss of my mother all in a succession of two years. And the depression. The anxiety. The darkness. Yet you stayed by my side and made sure that I never gave up. You always let me know you where there for me as much as I would or could let you in. Your strong presence, your uplifting words, and the times you would just hold me as I cried – it meant everything.
After my second surgery, you were the one who let me know in unspeakable words your love and devotion and commitment to me – to us. I felt afraid and ashamed over something I had no control over. I felt helpless and you made sure that instead, I felt beautiful and wanted and desired and loved.
At times it felt like the Universe was doing everything in its power to rip us apart. I see now that it was building our foundation and making sure it was stronger than ever. It was teaching me what true love actually looks like. It isn’t fleeting. It isn’t just flowers, nice dinners, walks in the park, passion – that’s romance but doesn’t equate love. Love is kindness, even in the hardest moments. Love is saying, “I will stay. I still choose you,” even after we’ve revealed the darkest and ugliest parts of ourselves. Love is commitment and hard work and devotion. Love says, “I will walk with you through the depths of hell. I will stay by your side as you slay and conquer your demons.” It’s saying, “I love you,” even when you feel the whole world has gone mad – even when your heart is seething in rage – those small moments of feeling misunderstood, disrespected, or betrayed. It’s saying, “Still I stay. We will get through this.” Love is safe and dispels any notion of abandonment.
You always love me in all the ways I need. You always have and I believe you always will.
And then came your health problems, my job losses, the loss of my last remaining grandmother, the loss of my father…
And though it didn’t always feel that way, we were both committed to the relationship. Still we stayed – not because we had to but because we wanted to. Because we were more than just best friends and lovers. Because our hearts don’t beat the same when we’re not together. Separate, we just don’t make sense.
Two years ago, on December 25, 2016, you proposed and I had absolutely no idea what you were doing. You gave me a mini fishing pole and I tried my hardest to understand and to be polite. In my head I was wondering what the hell it was that I was supposed to do with this little pole – especially considering I have a very nice, matching professional set of poles. I smiled sheepishly and muttered, “Thank you.” I remember you looked so frustrated as you handed me two containers of power bait. Again, I said thank you and you smirked at my ignorance. You asked if I read them and as to not hurt your feelings I picked them back up and read, “Will” on one and “You” on the other. I finally got what you were trying to say as I blurted out, “Yes, I’ll go fishing with you! Awwww!” (because we hadn’t been in months).
I remember you fully laughing at this point as you got down on one knee and opened a box with a beautiful diamond ring and still it took me a moment to process. I remember looking at you in awe and wonder and bewilderment and excitement and asked, “Are you sure?!” You laughed and said, “I don’t think I’d be down on one knee holding a diamond ring if I wasn’t sure.” I remember wrapping my arms tightly around you, inhaling your scent, kissing your neck and your lips before finally exclaiming a full bodied, “YES!”
And then came the return of my breast infection and the possibility of cancer. I worried you would want to leave and questioned if it was even fair to ask you to stay – but leaving was never even in your comprehension or thought. It wasn’t an option.
August 17, 2018 we stated our vows and while I was nervous and admittedly freaking out – I knew with absolute certainty that I choose you and I’ll choose you over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat, I will keep choosing you. You are the keeper of my heart. I can’t wait to see how the rest of our beautiful journey unfolds. I love you today and for always. Thank you for being so devoted to me, to us, to our son, our family, and to the life we share. I love you, Baby – My Handsome. My Husband. My King.