Thirteen years ago, on this day, I found myself on the shopping adventure of a lifetime. Or from hell, depending on your point of view. See, I had a new boyfriend, and it was his birthday. And so I went shopping with his best friend, and we were going over to his parents house for dinner and cake. I figured, who better to help me shop than his best friend. Boy was I ever wrong. I decided to get him the new Metallica Box Set that had just come out. Problem was, no one had it in stock. We found ourselves at the mall, and the next thing I know, I'm being talked into going up the down escalator. The crazy thing, is that I did it. And of course, at the top I fell and got chewed up by the steps. Next thing I know, we are running across a busy local highway to a music shop. We found our box set, realized we were going to be late for dinner and made a mad dash to the other side of town. I walked into the house, bleeding, bruised and looking a little worse for the wear. My sweet man laughed at the story, kissed me and then patched me up.
And much of the last 13 years has been more of the same. His strong arms have picked me up every time I have fallen. He has held me close when I thought I would shatter into a million pieces. Every time I have called him hysterical about some major disaster that has happened (fire, broken children, what-have-you), he has, even with my protests, dropped everything and come home. When my own body was tattered and broken after a horrible car wreck, he was the one who kept me going. He offered me encouragement, and rubbed my knotted muscles.. he reassured me over and over that someday in fact things would get better. They never have completely, and never will, and he still makes accommodations for me. He was the one who saved my life when I sunk into a dark depression. And then he got mad at me, and at the time I thought he was a complete arse. Here I needed him more than I ever had, and he was pissed off at me. At the time I didn't realize that he was angry at me for being selfish, and not seeing the big picture, and who else I was affecting. I did, much later, and I loved him for it.
Over the past 13 years I have watched him mature from a foolish young "boy", to a wonderful man. He is compassionate, gentle, and as patient as Mother Teresa herself. He rarely gets mad, but if he does you know he has a good reason. (or he's being completely unreasonable, but that's a different story). He is a wonderful father and a fabulous role model to our children. Especially our son, showing him what a good dad should be like. He has an obscure sense of humor, and one of my favorite things is to hear him laughing right from his soul.
But most of all, he has put up with me and my crap for 13 years. He never tells me that my ideas are stupid. He hardly ever raises his voice and has never cursed at me. (well, maybe once but that was a long time ago and I think I'm sure I deserved it). He loves without questioning, without judging, and without fail. He has stood behind me and supported every crazy thing I have ever wanted to do. I'm sure I can't say that I have done the same for him, and that makes me a little sad. He has been the force that has kept me going all these years, and I am forever indebted to him for it.
Today, is his birthday, and I wish him many happy returns of the day.