He spent several days with my family. It was the first time I had really intoduced my parents to someone. Past relationships had included quick introductions, but never had there been someone so important to me that I wanted them to spend days with both my parents.
We ate with my parents, told stories, and also spent time on our own. There were trips to the Kemah Boardwalk and a trip to Galveston, TX. It was sunny that day but chilly and windy. We took pictures by the beach, squinting our eyes and smiling. In so many ways, it was a dream come true. I had always wanted someone to share memories with, and I finally had that person.
"The Great Debaters" had opened recently, and we decided to spend part of the day in the theatre. I remember that is was while we watched that movie that it hit me. This was it. This was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I'm not sure why it happened at that exact moment, but I shared the revelation with him while we sat in an abandoned parking lot, looking at the canals in my parent's neighborhood. Things have never been the same since then.
We both had a lot of growing up to do at that point. Even now, we still have a lot of growing up to do. But that is what marriage is. It is not simply growing old together; it is also growing up and growing closer together.
We drove back to Oklahoma together, and then went our separate ways when he returned to his school and I to mine. The next month is somewhat of a blur. We spent as much time together as we could, but we were both busy with classes.
Our first Valentine's Day together I had high expectations. I wanted all the romance in the world, it being my first time to spend the holiday with someone special, but in the middle of the day, I received a text message that said he wasn't sure he would be able to make it out to see me. I was crushed but did my best to go through the rest of the day not thinking about it.
I left work around 5:30pm that day. I was tired and dressed not too attractively as I worked at a daycare at the time. When I reached the parking lot, he drove up. He handed me a card. It was taped to the window of the car but had blown off in the wind. He purchased two tickets to see "Definitely Maybe" and said we would spend the evening beforehand at my apartment, eating our favorite pizza.
A simple Valentine's Day. But really all our Valentine's Days have been simple. Looking back on it now, I think it was for the best. I wanted all the flowers and candies and candlit dinners I could find, but I don't think any of those would have spoken to my heart like pizza and cuddling in the movie theatre.
We were three months away from getting engaged at that time. But I didn't know it yet. I was also three months away from graduating college at that time with no sense of direction, but that didn't matter. I had someone who cared for me, and that is really the most important thing in the world. Because if you have love, you can make it through almost anything. Not that it's easy because it's not. But what is worth having that is easy?
(title from "god gave me you" by dave barnes)
This post is part of a series. It is a snapshot of how I met (and married) my husband. To read the entire series, click here.