"Love Letters": a series of love letters to the people in my life who have made a big difference in my world, published on their birthdays.
For my husband.
I met my soulmate when I was 14.
Of course, at the time, I was too busy to realize it. I was too busy trying to survive my first year of high school; alternately trying to blend into the background and to make an imprint on my little world in that awkward and endearing way we all do when we are young.
I was busy sighing over the high school football players, giggling with my friends, dreaming and making plans for my future. I was a prolific list maker even then, and, I admit, I even had (have) a tattered notebook paper list entitled, "The Perfect Guy Will …" I might not have had a boyfriend, but in my mind, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted ;)
Homecoming, 2002. The night I got my first kiss.
But the beautiful thing is, all the while I was planning things out for myself, Jon was there. He was there and he was everything I wanted, everything I needed, and everything I didn't even know to pray for.
We were good friends for over a year before we took our relationship to the next level. He made me laugh, and I loved the way I could talk to him for hours. I loved to shock & impress him with my (sometimes) dirty sense of humor and love of hard rock music. On a warm August evening, after a walk in the park and several games of bowling, I confessed that I liked him-- my heart pounding, terrified that our friendship would never be the same after that. It was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. And then. I will never forget the way he looked at me then; smiling, "Amy, I know…"
Jon was my first kiss. He was my first boyfriend, the first and great love of my life.
We've known each other for over 10 years now. We've been there for each other through the transition to college (x2), deaths of loved ones, nasty friend break-ups, 21st birthday celebrations, family dramas, living in 3 different states, the planning of a wedding, the living of a marriage, and the purchase of a house.
It hasn't been perfect, but we've been perfect together.
I've always known that being with Jon makes me a better version of myself, but since we've gotten married, I've felt his influence on my life more profoundly. He is my anchor, and I mean that with every fiber of my being. He grounds me when I am feeling flighty and malcontent. When I feel lost & insignificant, his love gives me purpose.
Jon has taught me how to take the "macro approach" to life, to let go of the little things that serve no purpose other than to weigh me down. He has helped me to focus in on the relationships in my life, because they are truly what makes life worth living. He has taught me how to be respectful, but independent. He has been an incredible example to me of how to stay true to yourself in a world that sometimes wants to tear you in two: obligation vs. identity.
Engagement pictures, 2008
He has taught me all these things with a quiet, unobtrusive strength. I have learned all these things by simply watching the way he lives his life.
He is, perhaps, the best teacher I've ever had.
In the shelter of his love, I have blossomed.
Even when I live out the rest of my life loving this man, it will not be enough.
"Happy Birthday, Jon.
Thank you for choosing me."