It could have all been so different. All of it. One day turned into a year which turned into a decade and before I knew it a lifetime of possibility was slipping through my fingers. I used to lie awake at night with my eyes softly closed while dreaming of a dream that played on repeat in my mind. Would it. Could it. Every day, the same ending. I was alone.
I met W nearly four years ago. On a whim. Chance. The romantic in me likes to believe it was destiny. Yet destiny wasn’t kind up until that point so I try not to pin a word on it. After talking for days we set up a time. And just as it was about to appear, the winds of destiny blew it out of my grasp. Here we go again.
Everyone before her had ended in just me. After that first cancelled date I figured it wasn’t going to be. But then the first date appeared. And she appeared. We spent the entire night sharing stories and food and wine and it felt like this was it. It was different. Felt different. Was different.
W and I moved in together before a year was up. It was the easiest difficult decision I’ve ever made. I let my heart steer me, and it usually took me where I needed to be. We packed up her belongings and took the highway an hour west to a new place. New beginning. New level.
Even though we were inseparable after that first meeting, more my doing than hers I like to believe, it felt more real those first few nights in our place together. I softly closed my eyes each night, only this time I didn’t dream. That had already been fulfilled. I waited until she slept and turned on my side and smiled. And I woke up doing the same thing. Every single day and night.
We started this little ritual shortly thereafter. It was time for a birthday or holiday and we talked about gifts. It’s funny but for the first time in my life I didn’t want them anymore. Not from her, or her from me. We didn’t need a gift on an occasion to signal it’s significance. Besides, my gift was her. Still is.
We decided not to buy each other gifts for our birthday anymore because we do things for each other all the time. Besides, we don’t often remember the gifts our loved ones get us the very next year. Or year after that. So we made this pact. Instead I’ll make her a special meal or she’ll do something special for me. It’s different. It’s us.
Things were fantastic. Always. I had long since fallen for W and we knew we were on our way together. I knew it. That’s when I planned to propose. I had planned it that first night we met. Really. I was left breathless that night and nearly every one since. The proposal would be my way to prove it to her.
I made the drive to her parents house to ask for her mom’s permission. She said yes and we both cried. And then I planned out the day. The moment. My future. I carefully constructed a day that she’d never forget. And I did. One beautiful surprise after another. She didn’t see it coming.
I met up with her after a day full of those surprises unfolded and got on my knee. I told her how lucky I am. I told her I wouldn’t want to be doing this with anybody else. And I asked her to marry me. It was the first of many greatest days ever. Her smile lit up the sky. Her eyes shone like a thousand sunrises. It was better than I had hoped. All because she said yes.
W planned and executed nearly every detail leading up to our wedding. I had my small list of duties while she tackled the mountain. Each day leading up to the wedding filled my heart with happiness. At one moment I thought it would explode with joy. It consumed me.
My wedding day was blissful. All because of her. Standing on the beach with the ocean as my backdrop, I watched her mother walk her down the hill and towards me leaving me breathless again. Tears filled my eyes and ran down my face like an avalanche. I was the luckiest man in the world. Still am. We spent the day with a small number of family and friends, the most important people on the most important day. And I spent it with my best friend and wife.
|Our wedding day|
After we were married we bought our first house. A beautiful place that backs on to green space. Protected space with trails running throughout, weaving like a map with unknown destinations just a path away. We moved in and on with the next chapter in our lives. And shortly after that W turned to photography. First as a hobby, now as a career.
So much was happening in such a short time. But I wouldn’t change a thing. It was a whirlwind of love and activity. It was everything I wanted but thought I would miss out on. Thankfully for W, I get to experience it every day, for my whole life. All of it, every single day. People say they wouldn’t change a thing. I’m living it.
Wendy started her photography career recently. And with each passing moment it grows stronger. Like she does. In front of my eyes I see her changing and growing. She changed my life four years ago so it’s only fitting that she changes hers alone the way. One booked shoot after another. One inspirational moment trickles past another.
So much previously untapped passion that was waiting to be unleashed. She lives and breathes in the moments. Every day is spent cultivating a future, while documenting everybody else’s. As you’ll see at the end of this post with some of her pictures, those documented images are real and beautiful and her. Always her.
I like to think I feed her passion. Literally and figuratively. I make nearly every meal and she’s always happy to test my newest recipes. We enjoy food, especially on weekends when we’re not rushed. We can sit back and enjoy a simple summer dessert of roasted peaches with honeyed yogurt and thyme. Perfect enough for a hot day out with my wife, a day before her birthday.
As another day approaches and her birthday with it, I remember. I remember what it was like when August 9 didn’t have any significance to me. I remember not being this happy in my life. Ever. I remember and I register. Every last piece of the history we make. I remember how lucky I am. All because of her. I do it all for her.
Looking back, it could have all been so different. All of it. I lie awake most nights with my eyes softly closed while dreaming of a dream that plays on repeat in my mind. It would. It could. It did. And every day, it’s the same beautiful ending. You’ll never be alone again.
Happy Birthday Baby! You are incredible. Gifted. Generous. Supportive. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a wife. A person. You deserve everything you get and everything that’s coming your way. I’m just glad that I’m along for the ride. And what a wonderful ride it’s been.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Roasted Peaches with Thyme and Honeyed Yogurt
- 2 large ripe peaches, halved and stones removed
- 2 tbsp. honey plus more for serving
- 2 cups greek yogurt
- 4 sprigs of thyme plus 2 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. rosewater
- Preheat oven to 350°F or 175°C.
- Halve two peaches and remove the pit. Place cut side up on a parchment covered baking tray. Drizzle one tablespoon of honey over two peach halves and place a sprig of thyme on each.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until soft.
- Combine two cups of yogurt with rosewater.
- Remove peaches from the oven and cut into wedges. Divide peach halves between two bowls. Top with yogurt and chopped thyme leaves and drizzle with additional honey. Serves 2.