Posted by: alegra22 | December 17, 2012

3,287 days

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I’ve spent an hour in the dark, words running through my mind, ways to begin this anniversary gift to you. I dragged myself out of bed, out of the comfort of your feet pressed against mine, our youngest grasping my arm like a lifeline.

I’ve now spent another hour diving down, my mind spiraling through the images of the last nine years we’ve spent together. I have so many beginnings to this. I wanted to begin by listing my names for you – but it felt prefaced. I argued with myself about it.

And then I thought of a conversation with a beloved friend I’ve known since I was eighteen. She asked me, “How do you know? How do you know you’re with the right person, the person you’re meant to be with?”

I waved my hands a lot and stuttered a bunch of words that didn’t mean much. I wanted to give her something reassuring but I was distracted by the webcam image of myself doing these things and thought, “Wow, that’s a really strange angle of me. Oh well, I guess that’s what I look like in the end.”

But the question has remained with me; I’ve wanted to go back and say to my friend, “Here, this is what I meant to say…”

And even then, I realize that what I want to say keeps evolving. It has made me realize that what you’ve taught me, Daniel James Clarke, what you continue to teach me –  it is a gift that is as alive as our three children, their bodies bumping up against the walls of our home, their voices soothing and bickering in equal measure.

You’ve taught me that anything true is continually evolving but it can’t evolve without  faith and commitment.

I come across people proclaiming ideas like, “How can you expect me to commit myself to one person? There are so many people to love!” And I think, “Because when you commit to the right person, you understand how to love all others.”

But, my love, you’ve taught me so many things in the last 3,287 days. To be loved like you love me is a type of grace. It humbles me. Nine years later, I’ve stopped questioning why you love me and simply accepted it as a gift. It makes me a better person to be loved by you, to let myself fall in love with you, over and over again. Daniel James Clarke, you are the only person on this planet that continues to surprise me, in the best way.

Almost ten years ago, we found one another attempting to be brave. We were beautiful and didn’t believe it. We were broken and holding the pieces in front of us as we moved forward, a mosaic shield that threatened to fall apart in our hands, but we believed in it all the same.

We found one another and didn’t know who we would become, but we were together, and our bodies, recognizing one another’s scent, began to whisper to us about our future. I proudly tell people, “We were engaged six months after we met but if he’d asked me to marry him within the first month, I would’ve said yes.”

It’s true. We were looking for a house together before we’d admitted we wanted to spend our days growing old. I’ve told this story so many times before, and I hope I’ll be blessed with the opportunity to tell it a thousand times again; I believe we made our vows to one another the first night we met. The night you held my hand and led me through crowds of drunken people. The night we shouted our histories to one another in the corners of various bars. The night I noticed the half-moon line at the edge of your smile and thought, against my will, “I’m going to be watching that deepen for the rest of my days.”

On this day, so many thousands of days ago, we told one another in our wedding vows that our hearts had found their home.

It is true. I realize I’ve been a renovation project. If a real estate agent were attempting to sell me to you, it would go something like this: deep flaws in surface, but structure is probably solid.

And you would say, without hesitation, “There is nothing flawed.”

You’ve taught me so much about stepping outside of my own emotional and spiritual language. When I pass over to the other side, I’m sure the angels and God and all the in-between variations and translators will say, “Alegra, you won the lottery.”

And all I will be able to say in response is, “Yeah, I know. And I did my best. Did I totally f*ck it up? I didn’t want to…I wanted to be so much more than I am.”

You know this, Marido-Raniera-Babe-Big Oaf-Man Who Snores Like A God, but it is my daily hope that all of those deities and spiritual janitors will wipe the anxiety from my brow and say, “Your husband, your children, they understood love. You did good. You did as best as you could.”

It is my hope that you understand how much I love you. Every moment of every day.
My heart found it’s home in yours. And when it did, it began unpacking itself.

It stood before you, surrounded by clutter, and in bad lighting and said, “Do you still love me?”

And you said yes.

Day after day, you gather me in your arms, you whisper, “Yes, you deserve to be here.”

And for this, I owe you everything.

It would be my greatest success to spend the rest of my life with you, to grow old by your side, having you remember the beauty of me, and the ignorance. To recognize the wisdom that passes through me, despite myself, and to love me most for everything that happens in between.

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Responses

  1. I, too, have won the lottery and find a great deal of connection to your loving words to Daniel. I don’t know if I could be as eloquent in my retelling Lu and my life together. Such a beautiful anniversary gift. So glad I was here to experience it…. 🙂

  2. I thought I’d come here for a little tender “aww” but damn it you left me crying again.

  3. It’s Dan right??? 🙂

  4. Note to self: Start every day by reading Alegra’s blog, but be prepared to cry.


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