13 years ago I met the woman of my dreams — literally. For years I had dreamt of someone who could accept me for the eclectic man I am, faults and all, for someone who was incredibly beautiful inside and out, for someone who could make me a better person just by being with her. And I knew from the moment she first emailed me that this was finally it. I only hoped and prayed that she would eventually feel the same way about me like I did about her.
It’s funny how life works. Time seems to move in slow motion when a relationship begins. All the wonderful early times stretch out luxuriously, spreading their wings around us in a seemingly neverending embrace, but eventually it does end, or at least morphs into a comfort level that shifts and changes as we do as individuals, and as we do together.
I remember those early days, when we were still getting to know each other, all of our little quirks, all of our big quirks, and all of the things about us that might have been deal breakers. But, amazingly enough, they weren’t. They just reinforced that we had found the right person, the yin to our yang, the Abbott to our Costello.
And then life clicked into another gear. We moved in together, and the clock picked up the pace. Before we knew it a year had passed, and we decided to make it official. I remember standing there in Utica City Hall in jeans and a t-shirt, nervous for the new beginning but ecstatic because I knew this would be the one to last, looking across at my beaming bride, and I could see forever.
Not just the forever of fairy tales where everyone lives happily ever after, but the forever of long nights awake with a crying child, the forever of dealing with money problems, the forever of tackling major emotional issues together. But it was also the forever of butterfly kisses, of walks in the park, of feeding each other cake and laughing when we miss our mouths.
We got married, and as I stood there saying “I Do,” I thought about how we both felt, about how two people from vastly different pasts got together in the present and decided to make a future together, to tie ourselves together “for better or for worse,” which is funny because our vows didn’t mention that at all. What I wanted to say was, “Tell me do you feel the same way too — Like I do?” And I saw it in her eyes, that she felt that spark, that she knew what we were getting into and she wouldn’t have had it any other way. Like I did.
That special, transformative day was exactly 12 years ago tomorrow, and as I think ahead to another anniversary with the woman I love I am so amazed that it even came to be, that she decided not once, but three times, that I was the man for her, that I was her future, and that we should walk down this road together. And yes, we’ve had our ups and downs. Any couple worth their salt can say the same, and I’m proud of the journey. But I’m even prouder to say that this is just the beginning, even 12 years in.
And I’m so glad she feels the same way too. Like I do.