To my partner.
The one who will stay instead of run, the one who will hold me close instead of pushing me away, the one the universe has prepared me for—and him for me, my forever one, I’m standing here ready for you, confident and certain of what will be.
We’ll know as soon as we meet that something magic is about to happen.
We’ll be electric. Your touch will give me goosebumps and mine will make you warm inside.
We will witness life, raw and authentic, in tandem, synced to the same rhythm, marching to our unique beat.
I’ll watch you laugh at my jokes and smile at me over the hood of the barbeque as you grill our dinner, frosty beers in our hands.
We will walk out of the yoga studio, cheeks flushed, chests glistening, shirts soaking, you’ll tell me how I’ve never looked more beautiful to you and I’ll believe you.
We will ride bikes to brunch on Saturday mornings, stop at farmer’s market on the way home and I’ll place the flowers you bought me there in a vase by our bedside.
We’ll hold hands, my long fingers clasped gently in your big calloused palms, as we step across wet dewy grass on a foggy morning in the valley and watch the world come alive.
You’ll eat my pies and too many cookies and go for a run with me later to burn off the sugar and then we’ll share the rest with our neighbors on the front porch over a bottle of wine while the kids climb the big tree in the yard.
We will dine al fresco and toast to our good fortune every sunny evening and cuddle on the couch while the rain falls and I write and you read and we fight over the blanket.
We’ll see the sun rise in Bali, make high noon in Paris, and set in Peru, together.
We will cross oceans and deserts, climb mountains and trek through jungles, run in the sand and raft down the river with you as my captain and me as your guide.
You’ll take me to the Opera and I’ll show you how to change a wheel line on my Dad’s farm. I’ll take you to a black-tie event and you’ll chop our firewood at camp. I’ll make dinner, you’ll do the dishes. Together we will balance. Together we will be fulfilled.
We’ll remember the moments, all of them and appreciate each one. We’ll stand and cheer at soccer games and we’ll bring cleats to practice and buy girl scout cookies and go to first dances and science fairs and school debates and graduations. We’ll take more pictures in our minds than we do with our phones.
We’ll make commitments and keep them. I’ll remember your mom’s birthday and you won’t forget our anniversary. You’ll send me funny things that remind you of me, and I’ll write about our lives.
We’ll always be honest and true. We will trust, wholly and fully because we lead our lives with our hearts forward and palms open.
I’ll talk too much, raise my voice too often, use my hands when I express myself and say things I shouldn’t. You’ll gently quiet me with your presence, inspire me with your gentleness, remind me to be impeccable with my word. You’ll be too nice, get yourself into complicated situations and take on too many projects. I’ll help you say what you mean, find your own solutions, and love your ambition.
We’ll drink good coffee, prepare food we grew ourselves, and eat greasy hamburgers and milkshakes at 3 a.m.
We’ll attend talks, discuss great works, and listen to classical music when we’re feeling like grown-ups, and we’ll dance in the kitchen to songs from our youth when we’re feeling like children.
We’ll help each other grow and support one another in being the best version of themselves. We will challenge with permission. Lift not push. Fill not empty.
You’ll brush the hair from my eyes when I wake up in the morning and I’ll stroke the side of your face, allowing the pokey parts of your beard to press against my thumb.
We’ll let the kids come lay on the foot of the bed and watch cartoons on lazy Sunday mornings. You’ll go walk the dog while I make pancakes. I’ll paint the bathroom while you fold laundry. You’ll fix the shelf that I installed wrong and I’ll repair the hole in the wall made when you underestimated the length of the couch during our move.
We’ll take turns driving places, each serving the role of chauffeur sometime during the day. I’ll suggest you use your map app. You won’t, and you’ll be late. You’ll suggest I leave thirty minutes early. I won’t, and I’ll be late too.
We’ll go to baseball games and drink Irish coffee to keep warm and eat lobster rolls to stay full and we’ll stay until our cheeks are chapped from the wind and then we’ll take the train home but stop on the way at a little hole in the wall where we’ll sit and smile at each other until the whistle blows and we climb aboard again.
I’ll make your favorite cake for your birthday and wear your team colors when they play. You’ll buy me my favorite perfume every year and hold my bags when I go shopping for new running shoes.
We’ll stand near each other everywhere we go, always connected, even in public. I’ll reach up to stretch my arms around your neck and you’ll kiss the top of my forehead as we leave the house each morning.
We’ll be in the same room at the same time, apart from each other but still together. I’ll take trips with my girlfriends. You’ll go golfing with your co-workers and on long adventures with your childhood buddies. I’ll be waiting with a smile to laugh together about your shenanigans when you get home. You’ll have the wine already poured when I return, eager to be entertained by my long and dramatic tales from the weekend.
We’ll travel to New York for your conference, and across the Atlantic for my book release party. I’ll stand just off stage while you give your speech. You’ll sit in the front row when I read.
You’ll show me that you’re there for me, no matter where I am, no matter where you are, no matter where we are, always.
We’ll drop off a child at college and I’ll bury my head into your shoulder as I cry and we drive away and I’m consoled by the knowledge that together in partnership we raised them well.
We’ll retire when we’re fifty but never stop working.
We’ll navigate the golden years together, watch our grandchildren play on the beach, take long messy family vacations and learn the art of urban gardening.
I will see your wrinkles spread, your hair gray and your heart grow until my breath runs out and time stops.
My darling, we will do all of this, and so much more.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
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Author: Michelle Sweezey
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
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