Friday, December 20, 2013

To My High School Sweetheart.....

Dear Steve,
You remember that day when we were watching a movie
at the house on 107th,
and you leaned over and kissed me?
Do you remember what happened next?
You said you loved me.
For twenty years I've wondered if you knew that it FREAKED
me out.
Oh yeah, my heart was pounding and I
instantly panicked because I knew
I was supposed to say it back.
But, I had never said that to anyone I wasn't related to before.
In that moment, I saw my life flash before my eyes.
My childhood seemed like a thin veil, and I wasn't quite ready to lift it.
If I recall I said something like,
"I like you a lot too." in response.
Even then it seemed horribly inadequate.
But here's what my heart said:
You love this boy, and in a few years he'll be a man.
He'll love you unlike any other. He'll protect you.
He'll be patient, even when you are being super emotional.
He will be a loving, but strict father to your children.
He will be exactly what you need, everyday,
for the rest of your life.
He won't be perfect, and neither will you.
But you will be your best when you're together.
Then a few months after we graduated HS, we had an argument
about something stupid I'm sure.
And you blurted out a proposal.
And I said something about the lease I had just signed.
That is so us.
That's how we roll, you and I.
And then we laughed at ourselves and started telling
Pretty sure, everyone thought we were crazy.
I know I did.
So I started planning a big, Spring wedding.
You went off to basic.
But in true Amber/Steve fashion, while you were home on leave,
we woke up on a Wednesday
and decided to get married as soon as we waited the 3 days
for the license.
Do you remember how livid my mom was?
Oh man, I really ticked her off that time!
Thankfully, she didn't stay mad.
I remember the evening of December 24, 1994 like it was yesterday.
You stood in Grandma and Grandpa's living room in your uniform,
and I thought I had never seen anyone as handsome as you
in my life.
The short walk toward you felt like miles.
My heart was racing and I was really sweating in that heavy dress.
Hopefully, you didn't notice **wink**
I didn't hear much, because I was trying not to pass out.
Were you that nervous too?
Probably not, you're the calm, collected one of the two of us.
Before I knew what was happening we were saying "I do" and putting rings on and stuff.
No fancy wedding, no reception.
Just two dumb kids, who met in HS, and fell in love.
So now it's a few days before our 19th anniversary.
And I'm not sure if I'll hear from you.
I don't know why you insist on being deployed on our
anniversary so often.
I don't mind saying, it's a little annoying.
But I have things to say to you.
You, Steve Infante, complete me.
But for real, you do.
You are everything you were promised to be, but more.
You are loyal and honorable, and brave.
And I don't just mean because you're a soldier.
When we had our horrible car accident and you
pulled us all out of the car one by one
without any regard for yourself and your own injuries, that was amazing to me.
It still is.
That's just who you are, quietly amazing.
You are brave in a way that's understated, which I admire.
You have been my most trusted friend all these years.
You bring out a desire in me to be the best version of myself.
You are loving in deed and in fact, and that's hard to come by.
Thinking about you makes my heart skip.
So 19 years, 4 kids, 7 deployments, and I lost track of how many moves later,
I want to say what I should have said over 20 years ago when you told me you loved me for the very first time.
So close your eyes and pretend we're teenagers again.
I'm gonna whisper it.
I love you too.

Let's get crazy old together.

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