Friday, January 18, 2019
What a journey we've been on. As I write this, I'm sitting in the guest room. It's your 49th birthday, and the last night before I'm your husband, and I can't believe there's not someone here trying to stop me. I'm not sure why I thought that would happen. I guess that after all this time, the fact that we get to cross the finish line so easily feels like cheating, and I keep waiting for someone to catch us, to send us back in time to answer for how serene, how joyous, how fiercely hopeful I feel for the future that lies in front of us. But there's nothing. No one's coming, and all that's left is joy.
Do you remember the first thing I said to you, the night we met? ...I'm genuinely asking, because I don't remember it the way I wish I did. I remember what song was playing (Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now," and it was really bringing the mood down at the party. You said as much), I remember what we were wearing, but I can't remember what I said. In trying to remember it, I keep hoping that I'll find some secret that would make this feel neat, some thing I said that would create a framework for everything that happened, that would make it all make sense. Or maybe I keep looking because I want to believe that I can find something that makes everything that happened between then and now feel like something we earned, rather than something we lucked into. I don't think there is though. I don't think there's any making sense of how or why we got from there to here; the truth of the matter is just that we got lucky, and I wonder if that doesn't make it better. I think maybe it might.
Getting to know you over these past eight years has been the single greatest gift I've ever been given. I've watched you grow, watched you succeed, watched you fail; I've watched you learn and plant your feet as a person whose strength and kindness has made a home for so many people who need it, myself included. I hope I never take your goodness for granted. I hope I never make you feel like you deserve any less than the love you give so freely. I hope that you feel safe, that you feel treasured; I hope that you never feel as though you have to navigate the world alone. I hope that I continue to earn the trust you've put in me, that I always strive to make you feel seen and heard.
Thank you, my love, for being my best friend, for accepting me despite the dozens of ways I'm still in flux. Thank you for not believing me when I said I was made to be alone, and than you for loving me in a way that made that belief feel inconceivable. Thank you for liking me, despite my not always liking myself. Thank you for the dozens of amazing things you are that have nothing to do with me. Every day, you're a gift, and I hope that you never forget it.
When I see you again, it'll be time. I'm scared. Not because I don't want to do it, but because I'm still not sure I know how best to navigate so much joy all at once. I hope you'll forgive me if I look to you to teach me. Somehow or another, you always do.
Пока тебя помнят вгибы локтей моих, пока еще ты на руках и губах моих, я побуду с тобой. (Boris Pasternak said that. Consider it my Cranberries poem.)
I love you with my whole entire heart.