It was a dark and stormy night (okay, maybe not, but I love that opening line from the 1830s novel Paul Clifford) in the summer of 2002, and I checked my e-mail in-box. To my amazement, I found a grammatically correct e-mail from a man on the same dating site as I. My heart leapt at the proper comma placement, vocabulary choices, and polite undertones (yes, I am a language purist). Immediately, I typed a passage, hit send, and then repeatedly hit refresh in anticipation of a response.
After two days of cordial, flirtatious correspondence, we agreed to a face-to-face rendezvous consisting of lunch followed by 18 holes of golf. Playing in 110 degree heat index weather, we laughed, we glowed, we questioned, we perspired, we listened, and we sweltered (no amount of Degree was going to help this situation). Not wanting to say adieu just yet, we rented a 3-hour Stephen King movie and ordered deep dish pizza in order to prolong our time together. Finally, I returned home only to rush to my computer in the hopes of finding correspondence from this dreamy guy in question. Alas, an e-mail time-stamped mere minutes after my exit from his apartment awaited my perusal. I was smitten!
Six months later, three days after our first Christmas together, we were married.
He welcomed my dog and cat into our home as his own and endured several gourmet catastrophes such as boxed Kraft macaroni and cheese with a slathering of chopped garlic (hey, I tried). We missed nary an episode of Bachelor and spent days hooting it up when we purchased our first digital camera.
Wishing to enlarge our family, God blessed us with a little girl after several years of trying. Although a difficult pregnancy resulting in a premature birth, we endured. Faithfully, my husband visited me every day after work and all day on the weekends when I was bedridden in the hospital.
At this same time, my father was involved in a losing battle with cancer. One evening my dad was unable to make the short walk from the family room to his bedroom. My husband lifted him as a groom lifts his bride in order to carry her over the threshold and then gently walked him into his bedroom and placed him securely in bed. To this day, my heart overflows with love as my eyes swell with tears for my hub when I revisit this bittersweet scene and will be forever grateful to God for placing this man in my life.
Twenty-two months after the birth of our first child, our second child was born. While my daughter was allowed to go home, I had to stay another week in the hospital due to complications from preeclampsia. In essence a single dad, he gladly took on a near two-year-old missing her momma and a newborn baby girl with an extremely healthy appetite.
Fast forward three years, together my husband and I faced a diagnosis of breast cancer (by this time, we joked he had acquired a lemon in me). Frightened, uncertain, and exhausted, we had deep talks under cover of the night about the future of my body, our children, and our life as we knew it. Enfolding me in his arms, he assured me life would continue as we know it during and after we experienced this hiccup in the road. Truly, with thirty-year-old boobs, droopy boobs, no boobs, only one boob, or fake boobs, he has always made me feel as if he has won the lottery with me, and I know I did with him.
So, on this our ten-year anniversary, I offer a prayer of thanksgiving for my husband . . .
Thank you for this man blessing in my life. Please watch over him and protect him. Help me to always show him my love and appreciation for his presence in my life as well as our daughters' lives.
In your name I pray,