Almost 3 years ago, a dear friend of mine introduced me to the man I now call my husband. I’d been single or dating for several years, and people had told me that I was being too picky. Perhaps that was the case, but I didn’t see a point in settling for anything less than butterflies. I was actually happy living alone. I had a good job, wonderful friends and family, a beautiful house, and 4 sometimes well behaved rescue dogs. Looking back now, it’s hard to remember what my life was like before I met Bill. There’s been enough love, laughter, and happiness to fill up decades of life – which somehow makes the memories of my life before seem far away. Enough love to make 3 years seem like 30 years in the best possible way.
Along with finding this kind, handsome, funny man, I also gained 3 wonderful stepchildren. Before Bill I wasn’t sure that I wanted children of my own. I was happy being “Aunt Teri” and spoiling my nieces and nephew. Becoming a stepmom seemed like a promotion from aunt. Three more children to love, laugh with, and learn from – with a bonus of them living in my home half of the time. Just like their dad, these kids changed me for the better. They made me want to create the best possible life for them. I found myself more excited to shop for clothes for them than myself. Getting manicures and talking girl talk with my oldest stepdaughter. Planting fairy gardens and falling into a world of make believe with my youngest stepdaughter. Helping my stepson learn how to ride his bike and practice baseball and soccer in the back yard. Watching how they light up my husband’s eyes with love. And before I knew it, a desire began to burn inside me. I want to be “Mom.”
Bill proposed to me in our backyard in August of 2015. He said he wanted to propose there because that’s where we would make a lifetime of memories together. There would be good times and happy memories made in our home, but we’d also face hard times and sadness there together. We got married a year ago today, and our wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. I walked down the aisle to Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” in a beautiful lace gown as the man of my dreams laughed at my surprise song choice, teared up, and shot finger guns at me. We shared our first dance to “Wedding Bell Blues” and enjoyed celebrating our love and marriage with friends and family. We’ve had so much happen in our first year together as husband and wife, and the words that he said during his proposal ring more true to me now than they did that day. We’ve had lots of happy memories, and unfortunately already faced grief, sadness, and loss. He’s given me a precious baby and held me as we mourned our child. He’s loved me on days when I was having a hard time loving myself. He’s held me together when it felt like our world was crumbling around us. He’s pushed me to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. Every day he makes me want to be a better person.
Bill encourages me to learn new things and pushes me out of my comfort zone. He helps me realize what things in life are important and that time spent in a bad mood is time wasted. He believes the best in people even when they don’t deserve it. He puts his family before everything else. His daily actions are like love notes if you take the time to read them – making me a breakfast taco every morning, washing my car and filling it up with gas when he notices it’s low, fixing things around the house, helping me finish tasks so we both have more free time to enjoy together and with the kids. Things I notice and appreciate because it wasn’t too long ago that I found myself having to do it all alone.
It really does seem like he was weaved from the stuff my dreams were made of. And my goal every day is to make his day a little better because that’s what he does for me. That’s what love does…it changes you for the better.
Bill, I love you so. I always will.