As a little girl, I dreamed mainly about how I would become the first girl to play Major League Baseball. I loved softball. The chalk smell outlining the field is eternally ingrained into the smells I never want to forget.
I never dreamed or planned my wedding.
When I was 21, I met a guy. I can still remember the night. I knew him from high school, and we were invited to the same party on a fateful evening. A friend called me while I was at the party and I recall the enthusiasm in my words as I told her, “I met a boy. I really like him. He’s cute and funny. I might give him my number.”
He asked for my number all night. I refused. In the wee dawn hours as people climbed into their vehicles, weary and hungover; I looked at the cute guy and said here’s my number.
The boy followed the rules, and didn’t call me for a week. Excitement turned to the rejection coma as I had convinced myself he wouldn’t call. Then, he did. And we talked on my cordless land line turquoise phone all night. We told our stories. We planned a date.
Our first date was at Applebee’s. Nothing fancy. We visited BlockBuster after dinner and picked out a movie, “Original Sin.” I sheepishly told the boy, “I like you. I like you a lot.” He said he liked me too. I asked if we could ‘date?’ In 13 years, we’ve only been apart for no more than three days.
I didn’t plan a wedding. I wanted a marriage. When I met a cute young boy on a hot August evening, every internal siren screamed “I had found my one.”
We call each other ‘mates.’ We aren’t husband and wife, or boyfriend/girlfriend. We are life mates.
When I thought about the man I would spend my life with, I imagined scenarios. They were only dreams to me. I saw us cuddled up watching movies. A reflection in my head consisted of me standing behind my husband in our kitchen, and I would always wrap my arms around him while he cooked. Each of these dreams are mostly my daily reality.
I love with a realness, and I love fiercely. It is all I know how to do. And I fight with the same passion. If I love something, I make it known. The same applies instantaneously if I’m upset or angry, I don’t hide feelings well.
As with any relationship or marriage, we have heaven sent days but, we also have our hell days. We fight, passionately, through each trial. There has been several times in the last 13 years it would’ve been easier to throw it away and start over.
But, I’ve found my mate. Through the good days and the bad days, I keep remembering a night in August where I met a boy I liked A LOT. I try to remember what it felt like to kiss him for the first time, to make love, and how everything was magical.
Magic still exists. No, it’s not daily. Sometimes, the magic isn’t felt over a long period of time. I have always loved him. I fought to get married. He was unsure if he wanted a marriage. But I stayed, and the day came four years ago today where I was married.
We don’t celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was only a day where we professed in front of an audience our devotion. Our love started long before that day, 9 years prior.
Today, four years ago I was married. And in a few weeks, it will be 13 years I’ve spent loving the same person, and 12 of those years we have lived somewhat happily under the same roof.
Three words carry a great significance in my heart.
I love you.
To the people I love in my life, I try to tell them. I never want to leave this world without someone who I loved not knowing that I loved them, heart and soul. I tell my Mommy, my sissy, and my best friend that I love them. Even when I’m angry with my husband, before we go to bed I say “I love you.”
I may not have dreamed of my wedding day. I dreamed of love. I dreamed of a marriage.