Dear Dylan: A Letter to my Husband on His Birthday
I can’t promise you the fanciest dinner today and I can’t promise you a day full of adventure. It’s true; there are a lot of things I can’t do for you. What I can do is promise you that I have overwhelming joy that you exist. I can promise you that you can go through your day knowing that you have changed someone’s life and impacted it in a fantastic way. I can promise you that you are valued, you have worth, and you are loved.
I often see stories about women who lose their spouses (and even think of my own mother) and I wonder, “Wow! How could I ever deal with that?” I imagine it for a moment, never in too much detail, and I always find myself thinking that I would call you to let you know right away – before I catch myself. Dylan, that is the best way I know how to describe my love for you. I can’t imagine life without you and I can’t imagine a me without you. You have grown into me and up through my body like a vine – grounding me at my soles and wrapping me tight and secure – evergreen. You are a part of me and, in loving you, I’ve better learned to love myself.
You already know the picture above this is my favorite one of you. It’s everything I love about your spirit. You also already know what it is; we laugh every time we see it. You’d just bitten into a sandwich that I’d made a couple of days in advance (on bad advice) for the picnic I had planned for your birthday. It was putrid and you knew it, but I was documenting every moment and was so excited for you to eat all the food that I made you, so you pretended to enjoy it as you slowly chewed – keeping every bit of it away from your tongue that you could, no doubt. I looked at mine and said, “Oh, they’ve gone bad, haven’t they?” You nodded your head with a smile on your face and turned to spit it out. You turned back to me and said, “It was still very good.” I love you for that, Dylan. I love that making me happy makes you happy because making you happy makes me happy, too. I can be difficult. I can be mean. I can be moody. I can be intense, but you love me through all my rotten sandwiches. You love me when I can’t be bothered to put on makeup and you love me if you see that I have no energy to do anything and tell me things like, “Thank you for dinner,” even if I’ve just heated something up in the microwave for us. I can’t imagine life with someone who wasn’t willing to give my rotten sandwich a chance.
We’ve come a long way. I feel so lucky that we got together when we did. You’ve given me someone to grow and change with – someone to help me navigate life. When I make a decision, I always have someone to talk about it with instead of having to wonder alone if my decision was correct. Thank you for taking my crutch outside of the lunchroom so long ago.
You’re goofy and a little off and you don’t mind that I’m goofy and a little off. It’s probably best that it didn’t work out for me and anyone else because I’m not quite sure that anyone could mesh with me quite the way you do – let alone let me laugh until I’m silently laughing into the air (aside from the occasional wheezing and slap on your arm).
I’m sure a lot of this is cliche couple stuff – the kind that some pretentious douchebag writes to prove their undying love and devotion to their other half yada yada yada. I am a pretentious douchebag. I’m melodramatic and a hopeless romantic. It’s not the same old love story as everyone else, though. Nobody else has you. Nobody gets to love you or be loved by you. I was blessed with you and you are mine. I am so thankful that you came into the world twenty-six years ago. A lot of people wonder what their mark on life will be and who will remember them when they’re gone and I want you to know that you’ve changed my life and that you’ll never not be worth remembering. I love you.
Happy birthday, Dylan.