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usIf I were to try to put into words how much you mean to me, this would be my pitiful attempt. When we met nearly half my life (28 years) ago, I was 29. I lived with my widowed mother. I worked full-time as an administrative assistant at an ad agency. I had friends but not much of a life.

You changed all of that. Right from the start I was comfortable with you. You made me laugh. You were easy to talk to. You made me feel alive, and you made my heart beat faster.

When you told me that you were falling in love with me, it seemed too soon. It didn’t seem possible. I was slower to surrender my heart. Twenty-eight years later that love is what keeps me going every day. That love has been strong, steadfast and true.

We have made a beautiful life together, pledging our love to one another before God, family and friends. We became a family, each other’s emotional anchor, best friend and reason for being. Together we found a home. Together we created two wonderful, young men. Together our love has grown stronger, forming an unbreakable bond.

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Your job takes you away from me for most of the week, and I only see you on weekends. We treat each separation as we have any other adversity we’ve faced over the past 28 years. We don’t let it defeat us. Yes, I still cry when you leave, but the adversity makes our love stronger. The separation makes the being together part that much sweeter.

I like that we are different, and we have different interests. Underneath it all, though, we’re the same. We’ve always had the same values, similar backgrounds and beliefs. We try very hard to put “us” before anything else. When all is said and done, “us” is what is the most important.

As we wrap up just over a week’s vacation time together, I realize again how very fortunate I am to have you. Reality intrudes on us in just a few short days, and you must go back out onto the road, and I must go back to sitting behind a desk in an office. Thank you for this week. Thank you for being mine. I love you.