Ten Years.

We all have moments. Those small, seemingly insignificant seconds of time that change everything. Meeting you was one of them for me. You were like no one I had ever known before. You were the kind of person that everybody loved to be around. You had a way of making people feel important. You had a zest for life, and a smile that would liven a room. 

Ten years ago I changed my name, and the course of my life when I married you. It was a beautiful, cold day. We were young, happy, and thought we knew everything about being in love.

But as the years passed, I came to understand that love isn’t just that fluttery feeling in your stomach, or the dizzying infatuation that we felt for each other in the beginning. Real love is so much more.

Love is cleaning the kitchen so I could take a bubble bath.

Love is tickle monster, hide and seek, and bedtime stories after a long day of work.

Love is the way you would look at me from across the room.

Love is donating plasma, and using the money you earned to surprise me a new Bosch mixer.

Love is leaving a cup of water on my side of the bed every night for months, so that I wouldn’t be thirsty while I fed our newborn baby.

Love is Nutella toast and donuts when you were in charge of breakfast.

Love is grocery shopping late at night so that I wouldn’t have to take the kids in the morning.

Love is the smell of freshly cut wood and paint, and beautiful handmade furniture. 

Love is letting me yell at you after I lost our babies. You knew I needed to get it out, and you just listened and cried because it hurt for you too.

Love is watching you take our girls out on Daddy daughter dates, and seeing you come back with flowers in hand for me.

Love is dancing in the kitchen. Sometimes wildly spinning with our daughters, and sometimes slowly swaying with me.

Love is killing spiders, taking out the garbage, and tethering down the trampoline in the middle of a windy night—things I hated doing.

Love is changing that especially stinky diaper, and watching me giggle.

Love is eating the mushy meal I cooked, and pretending that you liked it. I had a cheeseburger.

Love is using most of your vacation time to take me home to my family in Canada.

Love is yoga. You hated it, but you liked when I wore yoga pants so you would play along.

Love is telling me that I looked beautiful, when even my maternity clothes couldn’t contain my watermelon belly anymore.

Love is fighting to be your best self, and being willing to change.

Love is using your final words to tell me you want me to be happy, and that you want me to find someone else. Someone to take care of me, and to be there when you knew you wouldn’t be able to anymore.

Love.

It’s wishing with every piece of my being, that I could have gone with you, but knowing that I will see you again.

It’s visiting your special place in the cemetery with our kids, spraying your cologne, and wearing your hats with tears streaming down my face.

It’s picking up the pieces of my life, and knowing that you would be proud of me.

It’s remembering you, loving you, and missing you. And then living my life to the fullest for you.

Looking back, I have tried to single out the moments that have had the hugest impact on my life so far. I have found that the small, seemingly mundane moments, are really what make a beautiful life.

Happy ten year anniversary to my sweetest RJ. In losing you, I have experienced so much heartbreak. But because of you, I’ve learned how to truly love. For that, I will be forever grateful. I miss you with all I’ve got. 

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