My Wonderful Gary,
Happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t believe I thought yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I guess I was just so excited for it to get here this year. Every year I sort of forget it’s coming, because I never had a Valentine until I met you, so I got used to considering it not a big deal.
This year marks our fourth Valentine’s Day together. Remember our first year, when you got pizza and balloons and streamers and maybe flowers and decorated the apartment and surprised me when I got home from work? Or did you make spaghetti? Were there flowers? Was that a different year? I don’t remember the particulars, because you were there, and that is all I will ever need.
You’ve written such amazing love letters to me over the past four and a half years. When I say it, it doesn’t sound right: four and a half years. Can it really be so long? It feels like forever I had waited to meet you. When we went to see my parents after you had proposed, my father shook your hand, laughed, and said, “Good luck!” It seemed that I had a reputation in my house as being somewhat difficult and I always thought that’s why I was lonely. Hearing things like that always made me feel like I was hard to love. I was waiting desperately for someone to see me for what I really was and still like me. You’re the first person I’ve ever known who accepted me (in my own difficult way), loved me, and never stopped loving me, even when I am hard to love. No one else could love me the way you love me.
I love that you rush to cook me breakfast in bed before I wake up so you can present it to me as I open my eyes. You are a wonderful chef. I love that you help me make breakfast and lunch those mornings when we’re rushing out the door. I love that you text me or email me during work to see how my day is going and to tell me you love me. I love that, even though we see each other every day, it’s still important to you that we hug, kiss, and reconnect when we get home from work. I love that we both want the same things in our future and we’re working together to make those dreams real. I love that even when we are fighting, I never want to walk away mad – I always want to stop and try to make things better. I love that we plan trips and adventures together. I love that you go geocaching with me, even though I know you don’t love geocaching. I love that our vacations can be as extravagant as a cruise (well, cruises are pretty extravagant for us) or as simple as a camping trip and we’ll still be happy just being together. I love you and your generous heart. Your laugh makes me laugh, because hearing you being happy makes me happy. I wish I could erase anything and anyone that makes you unhappy. I love that you smile for pictures even when I want to re-take them a second time… or a third time. I love that you encourage and support me in my running, even though you know when you send me out the door that I might not be home for an hour, and even when I come home, I’ll either be hopping in the shower or staring at the computer screen, analyzing my data or writing a blog about my run. I love that you give me that space to be me. I loved finishing my first 5K and seeing you at the finish line, beaming at me. I love that you bought me a frame for my running bib, because you were so proud of me and you knew how proud I was of myself. You always remember the little things. I love that you surprise me at work with flowers sometimes, just because. But you know I don’t need flowers to know you love me. It’s in the breakfasts in bed and the board games and the marathons of Netflix shows and the back rubs and foot rubs and kisses on my forehead and cuddles with our cat, Zooey and your amazing smile when you look at me.
I love you so much.
P.S. I love that we tell each other we love each other all the time, and we don’t just celebrate it on Valentine’s Day.