There’s a box full of long, handwritten letters and printed out emails that I’ve been keeping for a long time now. So much of us was built on those first months when all we had were words. That was fifteen years and half my life ago. He told me recently that he’s always writing to me in his head. I think that was one of the sweetest things he’s ever said to me. I’ve been writing letters to his son for over a year now, and this letter for him has been long overdue.
I am a difficult girl. Always have been. I’m opinionated, stubborn, and impatient. I’m emotional bordering on insane. I have silly dreams, and I say the weirdest things. I live mostly inside my head. Everything depends on how I feel about certain things. When I care, every little detail has to be perfect. When I fall in love with a song, I will play it on loop eleventy billion times. I buy office supplies when I’m sad, I have too many notebooks, and I talk in my sleep.
And then you found me. And suddenly I wasn’t so crazy anymore.
The very first thing you said to me was, “Take me to your leader,” and that was singularly the strangest, geekiest thing anyone has ever greeted me with, and I knew right then that we would be friends. I have never had to explain myself to you. You get me and all my stupid jokes, and you’ve never made me feel like my silly dreams were silly. You have made them all come true, except for the one where I win the lotto because neither of us can be bothered enough to bet. You think the weird statements that come out of my mouth are funny, and you insist on helping me do things, even when I say I don’t need it. You instinctively protect me from crowds before my claustrophobia kicks in, and you affectionately call me bubble girl because I am allergic to too many things. I don’t think I say it enough, how much I appreciate you, but I hope you always know.
I was 23 and you were 27 when we got married, and I cried so much that I was afraid it looked like a shotgun wedding. I cried because I couldn’t believe that I would be lucky enough to have a love like this. I cried because you know all my faults and not just “love me anyway”, but, by what can only be considered as sheer dumb luck, find them somewhat charming. I cried because you were the only one who noticed and pointed out to me that I sing Christmas songs when I’m happy, and I went through my entire life not knowing this until you came along.
Now I have a bright little boy who calls me Mamama, and he looks so much like you. And like you, he makes me laugh until I cry. Every good thing I see in him reminds me of you, and I am filled with overwhelming love and gratitude. It’s humbling, this kind of happiness, and I will strive every day to be worthy.
You are the little boy to my kite. The only reason why I get to fly is because you know exactly how to let me. You are my bubble, my safe place, my home. And you find me. Every single time. I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Jeff.