My Dearest K,
As I think about this day and its traditional meaning, my mind goes seeking things of significance to dwell on. There are many things which strike up fond remembrances. For example…
I remember when we first met. I remember the hard oak bleachers, the ugly gray floors (I spent a lot of time looking down), and the constant squeaking sounds from the shoes of those playing basketball below us. I remember Doug’s soothing voice, the urgency of Bruce’s voice, the reluctance of Jerry’s voice, and the gentle sweetness of your own voice. So timid in those moments when your eyes twinkled. I had no idea they twinkled for me. So sly your laughter – little did I know you giggled for me. So bold you became, confronting me with feelings I didn’t know were possible. I was so juvenile.
I remember you stirred me to action, to decision, and to direction. As the realization set in, not merely of your feelings, but of my own, I knew a new kind of hope. You kindled in me love’s heated passion, but far more than this alone. It was the first time I felt wanted from a place outside my small familiar shell. It made me want to strive to be more. You made me want to be worthy. Juvenile, not doing it right by any stretch of the imagination, yet still wanting to be something more for the sake of another human being: you.
I remember your long curly hair. It wove around your neck, down your back, and down across your shoulders. It was soft and had a certain fresh kind of smell. I remember your eyes. Yes, the very color I call “Western Sky Blue” was the name I came up with for the color of your eyes. It reminded of the depth of the eternal sky, brilliantly blazing toward the edge, yet dark and intense toward the center. Always bright, day or night – lit up as with stars even in the darkest corners. I remember how they alternated between shy and passionate. You had (and still have) clear and honest eyes, eyes that I could trust, eyes that I could love. The curves of your watermelon lips, like the curves of you body, gave me tingles to be near and drew from me that which I was once unable to express and now too easily express.
I remember the pleasure of your company. Those many letters and tapes we shared gave us opportunity to open our souls. I remember the walks in the breezeway, sitting in the library, and stealing kisses outside Mr. Ritz’s room (among other places).
I remember missing you in the years between. I remember seeking you out, then forcing myself to accept something less. I remember, sitting in your apartment, feelings of jealousy and silent rage. You gave me comfort. You completed something in me no other human could complete. I couldn’t express that then and can hardly do so now, but this is simply how it is. I left empty. Yet God blessed me in these later years with a completeness I’ve never known apart from you.
I remember seeing you covered with splattered chocolate ice cream. All I could think of was how wonderful it was, what a bright and glorious day it was, and how wonderful you looked to me. Seeing you then made me forget myself. I forgot I should be tame. I forgot I should be leery. I forgot to guard my heart from the flood of emotion behind that dam. Old memories merged with the new being created. I forgot reality. My rose colored glasses were broken, but I forgot. I didn’t care. I still don’t.
I remember the breezy summer afternoon at the park. I remember the soft baby blank we reclined on. You had a very special look in your eyes. The look took away fear and doubt. It betrayed what I knew was underneath, and it coaxed out what lay beneath my own hard shell. I knew then time and distance were an enemy I could and must defeat.
You were and are a prize like a pearl the farmer found, then sold all he had to purchase. You are more valuable than any possession in my small world. If the house were gone tomorrow, my home would still be with you wherever you are.
In these recent years I remember hundreds of loads of laundry, thousands of meals, and countless blessings you’ve given me. I remember and cherish the times we’ve spent in the heat of passion. I recall with thankfulness the reality of life because it is with you. You still make me want to be more than what I am. You are a constant example of love, because love is more than emotion. You take care of me, you take care of Brenden, you put others before yourself. You are all the things I wish I were as a human being, and on top of this you are a wonderful wife and mother. I don’t want perfection, I only want what is perfect me – and you are.
As we walk boldly into the future, let us walk boldly together. Know that I am the only one for you just as you are the only one for me. Never forget the summer afternoon at the schoolyard and the look I had in my eyes. I shall always see your eyes as I saw them that afternoon. Know this is how I shall always see you.
I love you, permanently,