“And I don’t want the world to see me, cause I don’t think that they’d understand, when everything’s made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am” – Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
When we first met I was broken. I had been used so many times that I wasn’t sure I could do it again. Be with anyone. I had been beaten down and gone through some terrifyingly tough times. Yet I was desperate for love, clinging to a small hope that someday I would have my happy ending. My Prince.
I didn’t find my prince in you. I found something better. My best friend and soul mate.
Someone who understands me better than I do myself. Someone with whom I am comfortable sharing my most intimate secrets and not be scared that he will push me away. Someone who values me for who I am, not what I look like. Someone who sees the worth in me on days when I feel worthless and makes sure he tells me how wonderful I am. Someone who taught me that relationships go both ways and I’m allowed to receive as well as give.
I’m a romantic. Through all else I believed in love. I watch movies like Moulin Rouge, The Princess Bride and Ever After. I sing songs sung by Disney princesses. It really wasn’t hard to win my heart – though showing up at my work dressed in a shirt and tie bearing candy certainly helped speed things along. My trust though, that you had to work for.
I was attracted to you the first time we met. I was let into your brother’s home so we could all get down to the nerdy business of Dungeons and Dragons. You stomped down the stairs and looked right at me. Then you turned around and ran back up the stairs. I know now that it was because you had forgotten something but I like to think you liked the look of me and ran back upstairs to primp. Makes me giggle to imagine you hastily combing your hair and throwing on a clean t-shirt.
I liked your oversized nerdy glasses. Your green eyes that sparkled with excitement when you described our character’s adventures. The way you gestured with your hands and seemed full of raw energy. You were always very sincere.
Our first date was at the movies. We hadn’t made it official yet (still in the land of “love me, love me not”) and chose to see Constantine. I don’t remember the movie much as three days before I had decided to quit smoking cold turkey and all I could concentrate on was the ciggs Constantine CONSTANTLY had. It was a fight not to go outside and find someone with a smoke to share. I’m glad I didn’t cause I got to kiss you later. A kiss so very sweet shouldn’t be marred by smoker’s breath.
We had a sweet and nerdy romance where you woo’d me with the kind of shy awkwardness made for teen romance movies. Remember how I used to stop at your house when I got off of work at the Cafe and leave you love notes in your mailbox?
Eventually the walls came down and I sat in your basement, telling you my past through tiny scared sobs. I remember that you became angry on my behalf and frustrated that there was nothing you could do. Sweetheart you did the very best thing you could do – better than punching someone on my behalf – you accepted my past without judgement and therefore accepted me. You will never truly know just how much that night meant to me.
It wasn’t long after that we became engaged. I had attended my first staff party at the comic store and came home so very, very drunk. I kind of remember falling out of your single bed we shared laughing hysterically as I rolled around on the floor. I asked you in the morning if I had said anything funny and you replied “You said you’d marry me.” Turns out what I said in my drunken haze was “I’d marry you, but you have to ask me first.” Aaaand then passed out.
It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? There are so many memories, so many challenges. We bought a place to live – a place we still share crammed full of all the geeky goodness we’ve collected together. We shared the adoption and too-soon death of our beloved rottweiler Princess. We adopted another dog and delight in our mutual love of all things Spitha. We weathered my ups and downs until I finally broke down completely and succumbed to my anxiety and depression landing me in hospital. We supported each other through the loss of our first baby – something that brought us back together after too much time apart.
We finally got married. One of the happiest times in my life. On the banks of the Yukon River you pledged to spend the rest of your life with me. We wrote our own vows and share wedding rings made of sterling silver with yukon gold inside of them. I slaved over a playlist that reflected us – the first dance being to “With Or Without You” by U2 (a song I knew you liked) BUT sung by Disturbed – very us. I had to have your brother ramble on for about a minute until the song kicked in as I wanted to surprise you with it. I think it worked and I remember you chuckling, a sound I adore. As we danced, even though it was summer in a tourist-y and public place filled with family, for awhile there it felt like it was just you and me. You looked SO handsome in your suit and bright yellow tie to match my dress.
Then comes Arthur. The little being with your eyes and my fingers. You handled the pregnancy like a champ, despite your addiction to Skyrim. A pregnancy full of anxiety and health issues. You were always there when it mattered – especially those times I needed some ice cream on snowy nights. Those were totally the most important times. You were always supportive and never made me feel as if my concerns were silly.
You are an amazing father. I am so very proud of you. It’s not easy going to school full-time, working AND making sure you still have time for Arthur and me. You are gentle and patient and do not give yourself enough credit where Arthur is concerned. He will always know you love him and that is the most important thing. Plus you look damn sexy wearing a baby in a carrier.
I don’t tell you enough how much I love you. Appreciate you. Recognize how different and empty my life would be without you. I miss you when you are not here and always want to find ways to make you laugh. I am most comfortable when you are beside me. You understand me the way very few people do. Though my love for you has changed over time it is still going strong. I’m lucky to have found you and I truly do understand now what it is I have.
I haven’t found my happy ending because this is really just the beginning. I look forward to living life to the end with you, love. Happy Valentine’s day. I love you.