A Letter to My Husband,
I remember walking to the door of my little apartment in Connecticut, the one you hated. I touched the door handle and paused. In that moment I knew….I knew that my future was on the other side of that door. I slowly turned the knob and opened the door. I looked in the eyes of the 6 foot tall military man on the other side, dressed in a blue polo and jeans and thought, “Crap.”
Six and a half years later, I walked out of the bathroom, hand shaking as I entered our bedroom, and I looked into the eyes of that 6 foot tall former military man holding his hand out to take the pregnancy tester out of my hand and with tears I laughed, “Holy crap.”
Two of the most meaningful moments of my adult life and sadly I have the word CRAP ascribed to them. It’s not elegant, but neither are we. It’s honest, and messy, and true.
We met online before eHarmony existed. I was 25 and convinced that I was running out of time. I belonged to a church in a military community, and most people my age were already married with at least a couple of kids. I went online begrudgingly, but you were special. You were my friend before we ever met. You’ve been my best friend ever since.
The military kept us apart for a long time…..submerged under water, confined in a metal tube, you were gone for months at a time. I sent you letters and emails each day. You knew my heart inside and out. I’m not that good at sharing out loud, so I think those emails and cards were a blessing. It gave you a chance to really know me, although I would be horribly embarrassed if anyone were to ever see them.
They moved you overseas, and I was crushed. I tried to be brave and we visited each other every 4-6 months. And when you couldn’t take another Christmas without me, we got married and spent a glorious six months in London and then backpacked through Greece and Egypt.
Almost nine years we’ve been married….already we’ve visited death, (temporary) infertility, heartbreak, ministry craziness, estrangements, and all the drama extended families can hold. You’ve stayed at my side.
You know all the bad parts of me. Somehow you love me anyway.
You bought me a laptop so I could write, because you believe in me. You work so hard, so long, all because you love us. You work and work and then you go to school. Work and homework can overwhelm. Every other bit of time you give to us freely. You joke about it, but you really are our Giving Tree.
Sometimes I’m sad that we met later in life, although looking back we were still young. But it really was God’s timing, I promise.
I know life looks completely crazy right now and nothing like we imagined. But I see you playing with the girls at night…..I see you in them, and I barely contain it. Lucy only lets me put her down for 5 minutes at a time, so nothing ever gets done. What does rest look like? I don’t know anymore and neither do you. I know it’s hard, but I’m still here, we’re all here with you.
The girls are growing up. Now our nights are filled with bottles and cuddles. Soon our weekends will be filled with soccer games and dance practices. Kathryn’s learning to read, can you believe it? (She’s a smarty, just like you) Lucy thinks she’s a big girl although she’s just turned one. (That stubbornness isn’t from me….) And Sophie? That girl is going to move mountains. (She’s just like her Daddy)
I’m learning too. I’m learning not to take you for granted. I’m learning that I need to keep getting to know you, even though I barely remember a time without you. I want us to keep growing together, cause Baby, I love you so much.
Someday we are going to be old and gray. Maybe we will be holding hands in matching rocking chairs, somewhere in the country watching our grandchildren play. Maybe we will be living in an apartment somewhere overseas, Skyping with our family back home, or using whatever crazy technology we have then. Our future is yet to be written. All I know is I want you to be by my side until the end.
You can print this out, if you want to. I know you saved all the other letters, emails, and cards I’ve ever written to you in a box – it’s in the back of the spare closet. There’s just one thing I ask of you…. please, for the love of all things good and holy, never let the kids see them. Ever.
Today I joined Anne at her place, http://modernmrsdarcy.com/ to join her Perspectives on Life and Love Blog Carnival. Stop by her neck of the woods to read all the other great stories!