I knew as soon as I heard your voice when I answered the phone.
You asked for Natalie.
I knew it was you. I had been waiting for your call.
I paused for a moment because your voice took my breath away.
You were watching “Tomb Raider” with your roommates. I don’t know why I remember this but love does funny things to a person’s memory.
Three hours later, we hung up and I wondered aloud to an empty house as to what just happened.
We made plans to meet the next night because a conversation that electrically-charged with a chemistry powerful enough to reach through the phone lines piqued both of our interests and we just couldn’t wait for the weekend.
So we went out for the first time on a Wednesday night.
And when I opened the door and my pale blue eyes met your almost black, I knew immediately.
You were my next husband.
And sadly enough, you were a next husband and I was a next wife. Yet at the same time, if we had not traveled those first winding paths, the paths with the ex-husband and the ex-wife before there was an “us”, we would not have been in a place to be ready for “us”.
So God drug us through some stuff and forced us to grow up a little bit because really, we could have met one another at IU since we were both there as undergraduates at the same time.
But again, God knew we weren’t ready for each other yet.
How many times did I walk by you in the “birth canal” of Kilroy’s? How often did we lock eyes at the Union?
Me a sorority girl and you a “GDI”, one who eschewed the Greek system and thought girls like me were shallow and lacked depth?
God knew. Doesn’t He always?
And me, a girl who possessed a little bit more wisdom than I cared to have at 26, a wisdom that comes from a broken heart, a heart that had already been down the aisle and had been broken, who found another wounded heart that had walked the same path.
And those hearts connected.
So here we are – nine years later, seven years married. You joke about “the itch” but I know better.
I wish I could say it’s been as blissful as the first night of our three hour phone conversation, the dinner at Mama Carrolla’s, the drive to the airport as I was about to accept a job in Chicago just two days later.
The moment I said “no” to that same job because though I had only known you for three days, I knew you were special enough to turn that fat job down for the life we have now.
And do I regret it ever?
Though maybe it hasn’t always been as magical as those first few month it’s real. It’s authentic. It’s life.
On our worst days, when I can’t stand you and you can’t stand me, I still love “us” and am so thankful that God crossed our paths at just the right time because really, if I had taken that “fat job”, we would never have been given the chance to really get started – it was 80% travel.
I love that you know I’m a fan of curled tortilla chips and when we are at our favorite Mexican joint without even discussing it, you lay them on the side of the basket just for me to sink into the bowl of guacamole.
I love that you leave the front porch light on when I am out with my friends, a lighthouse to ensure that I know my way back to my true north.
I love that you can see right through my coping mechanisms. Damn you.
I love that there have been so many times when you could have left, when you would have been justified in doing so because really, this girl here might have a load of baggage or two.
And yet you don’t. You don’t feed into my biggest fear of abandonment because you are too much of a man to do so.
So on this day, this day when we also celebrate our youngest son’s third birthday, I write to you first. I write to you because God is first, yes. But you, my sweet, beautiful, best friend of a husband, are a very close second.
And those three heathens we have produced? Yes. They are a very close third.
But you…you are right behind God to me. Even when you don’t feel it, which is often in this house of three kids six and under, you most certainly are.
Happy Anniversary tomorrow to my “Seven Year Itch”, my “true north”.
Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.
“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…” – Isaiah 61:3
Linking here today…