Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Letters

For Christmas I asked Jeff if we could write each other love letters instead of buying gifts. I wrote my letter in November but then when Christmas rolled around, never gave it to him. In my defense, he didn't present me with a letter either. The season was merry, but hectic and more about Edie than us. Maybe it was really meant to be a Valentine's letter.


Dear Jeffrey,

I kept thinking about what to get you for Christmas, and maybe Edie’s sucked the creativity out of me, but the only ideas I have are the same ones I have every year – shoes? A sweater? A weekend to Portland? I’m assuming that you have the same problem with me, and I thought to myself that more than anything what I’d love from you is to get a love letter. Like the kind you used to send me every day when you lived in St Louis. And yes, I realize that was a super long time ago, but wouldn’t it be nice if we still wrote each other letters? I miss it. I think sometimes my impatience and your prudence make thoughtful conversation in-person difficult for us; I’m always in a hurry to get to the point and you mull things over so long that we’re never in the same place at the same time. Maybe things were better when circumstances afforded you the chance to write your thoughts down and I was forced to think before opening my mouth and instead put pen to paper.

Anyways, all this is to say that I still love you very much. After 18 years, you are still the one I want sleeping in my bed each night. The day to day drudgery of parenting and making a living can bring out the worst in me, but when I boil it all down to its essence, you are the big love of my life. I still remember when you were a freshman in college and told me that you’d been talking with some of your friends in the dorms and one of them asked how you would define Love. I didn’t have an immediate answer, but I asked what YOUR answer had been to the question and you replied rather matter of factly, “Knowing that you want to grow old with someone.” 

And here we are, 19 years later, growing old together.

I’m typing this while I fly over the Midwest – on my way to Charleston for work. There’s turbulence and I’m nervous like I always am. I wish you were here to squeeze my hand and humor me. As we took off at 6am, the sun was starting to rise and the entire sky was a brilliant red. I pretended you were sitting next to me and appreciated it for you. It really was beautiful. I would love for us to resume our traveling ways soon; especially now that Edie is getting a little older. I know how lucky I am to still be in love with my husband after all this time when I think about all the places I still want to go with you.

This is a challenging (and rewarding) phase of our life together, but we have many more phases still to look forward to.  Edie will be old enough to travel with us one day and we’ll take her to Spain and eat croquettas with her cousin Luna and Javi’s family. She’ll go to sleep-away camp for a week and we’ll travel to Beunes Aires, rent a little apartment and eat steaks every night for dinner. Fingers crossed, we’ll send her to the college of her dreams and resume a quiet life where we eat dinner in front of the TV, watch marathons of our favorite old movies and sleep until 10am every weekend.  We’ll Skype with her every week and marvel at what a thoughtful and funny young woman we’ve raised – she’ll go her own way and choose her own path and it will be the best and hardest thing we ever did together.

I should probably go now. Typing that made me miss you and Edie even though I just kissed you goodbye this morning and had my “second” goodbye with Edie at 1:30am.when she said she’d had a “hard dream” and wanted me to “keep her safe” with a back rub over her green blanket cape.

I love you,


lindsey. said...

You made me cry with this. I love you guys.

Mary Anne said...

I don't know Lindsey, but she literally took the words out of my mouth. I teared up. And I love your story. Thanks for being a good example. A happy ending. The proof of the possible. Keep up the good work.

cranky rae said...

Love it.