A couple days ago, my mom gave me a copy of a local wedding magazine she'd found that had published a few photos from my wedding. Apparently our photographer had submitted them; it was odd to see them on public display after existing solely in our personal album for so many years. There, under the table of contents, was my handsome groom affectionately kissing my cheek, my eyes closed in a state of euphoric contentment.
Yesterday, a friend brought over a stack of old photos from our college days. I stopped when I saw a photo of my husband that I hadn't seen in years. I remembered the precise moment it was captured. He was a little bit leaner, a little bit blonder, taking the first steps on the joint path we'd happily, almost recklessly, set ourselves on.
Today, while Isaac napped, I pulled out the photo album that holds the pictures from our honeymoon. Quietly, over my lunch of leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, I thumbed through the pages, my eyes flickering over the unbelievably tan, skinny, well-rested versions of ourselves. I lingered on a photo of his reflection in a window.
Tonight, I recalled and re-read some writings he'd penned about me. They are silly yet poignant. They make me think of myself in a warm light.
I feel something tugging, something searching. I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for.
A finger pressing a tender spot. A callus, softened.
A small ache, just a little.
A peace offering from the past, soothing my baby-frazzled nerves and encouraging me to extend more grace, more love, more affection to the man who, upon reflection, hasn't let the stresses and challenges of grown-up life change him as much as I sometimes think it has.
A couple years ago, I wrote a little something to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the day I met my husband. I'm reproducing it here, for posterity and because I love revisiting that night, a night that quite literally changed my life. [Apologies to those of you who may have read this already.]
Originally written August 1, 2007
You wore a maroon-and-gold striped shirt that fit snug against your well-defined, well-tanned chest and arm muscles. I might have noticed that first, if it wasn't for the shock of platinum blond hair that stood out conspicuously from your head like a red door on a white house. It was obviously unnatural, but strangely appealing.
I wore a plain white top with faded blue jeans and black wedge-heeled sandals, the ones I picked out specifically because they added three inches to my short frame. I had no jewelry on, except for a small iridescent blue flower toe ring on my right foot. My hair was the darkest brown, and I wore it long and straight.
I stretched out my hand expectantly to meet yours. Your handshake was confident, your smile was magnetic, and your eyes danced with a mischievous sparkle.
We walked into the restaurant and out of the hot summer night, strangers.
You wore the maroon-and-gold striped shirt.
I laughed when I saw that you had put it on. It is faded now, but the cotton still clings to your chest in the nicest way. Do you remember, a few months ago, when you tossed the shirt into the giveaway pile? I protested on grounds of sentimental value, and then hung it back up in your closet.
I wore a plain white top with faded blue jeans, but my wedge heels have long since been retired. I put on a pair of generic flip flops, but fished out the tiny blue toe ring from the bottom of my jewelry box -- you know I haven't worn it in years -- and slipped it onto my right foot. I pranced into the bathroom where you were getting ready and wiggled my toes at you. You laughed, and then reached for me.
We are nerds, you said with a kiss. I know, I replied with a hug.
I love us, you said.
I stretched out my hand across the table and slipped you a small, celebratory card. Five years ago today, everything changed and nothing changed. Your smile is still my magnet, it connects me to you in inexplicable ways. Your confidence is still my rock, I am anchored and grounded by your calm. Your youthful spirit is still my joy, I discover happiness and laughter with you every day.
We walked out of the restaurant and into the hot summer night, lovers.