I want to preface this letter with the admission that I am not perfect for, or even nearly worthy of what I have been blessed with. I have made countless mistakes in our relationship and continue to make them. I do, however, attempt to learn from each of them. While I do consider myself a smart man, I do not confuse my intellect and wit with wisdom. I know that I have a long journey ahead of me if I wish to be the husband and friend and lover that you so justly deserve. I would like to take these opening words as an opportunity to pledge my undying love to you, my perpetual quest for your happiness, and to state my eternal pursuit of the perfection I lack in terms of giving you the love, attention, care, and affection I feel you have bestowed upon me.
I have lived a tumultuous life that has led me to some of the darker corners of despair and self loathing as well as showing me what it feels like to truly be loved and admired by your friends and family. That very same life has also taught me the difference between lust, love, admiration, and casual affection; both for myself and for the women who have preceded you. I acknowledge and understand your trepidation and your self conscious approach to our relationship. We have lived very different lives up to this point. My goal is to show you, through words, actions, and even the simplest smile as I stare into your eyes that you are my savior and all I could ever want. You have shown me the light of a fulfilling life. You came into my life at probably my lowest point. You shunned me and moved on, but by grace of God or fate, you gave me a second chance. That second chance has taught me that mercy and forgiveness is real. I do not believe I can ever convey how much this has meant to me.
Not long after we began this life long journey together, I lost someone very dear to me. That loss would have crippled me and more than likely would have sent me spiraling back into that pit of abuse and self loathing I had so recently ascended from had it not been for your love. Your shoulder, though you may feel it was timid or unsteady, provided me a rock, a foundation, upon which to steady my legs and begin building a life my sister and myself can be proud of. My loss of my little sister came at a time, as unfortunate and seemingly unjust as it may still feel to this day, that I finally had someone that could prop me up and help me stand tall. I will be forever grateful of your presence in my darkest hour.
I was hit again with loss and my world was shaken when my grandmother, who served as a second mother to me for the majority of my life left this mortal plane. Again, you stood by my side. You were there when I needed you, despite your own anxiety and inner turmoil. You stood strong, offering, perhaps unknowingly, precisely what I needed for me to be the rock for those who shared my mourning. I could not have been as strong and sure headed in the death of either my Nanny or my little sister had you not stood by my side, holding my hand, and crying the tears I so desperately fought to hold back for the sake of my family. For the entirety of my existence, be it mortal or in the afterlife, I will be forever grateful and in your debt for this.
You’ve seen my dark and my bright sides. You’ve seen the love, the laughter, the tears, the torment, the screaming nightmares…and every single time you’ve not shied away from the task of comforting me. You have given me hope for the future, love that will endure the roughest of times, and the desire to be a better man; the man you deserve.
If I can have only one thing in this life it is that you know, fully and without question, what you mean to me. You are my guardian angel. You are my heart. You are the tissue that wipes the tears away when I can’t hold back the pain, and you are the blanket that warms me when the world grows cold around me. When I feel troubled, you steady me. When I feel weak, you strengthen me. I know that we do not have a perfect marriage, but in my eyes that is not a negative, but rather a foundation to build upon. I chose our wedding day, no big ceremony and only one in attendance (because my dad is a sneaky bastard), because it would give me the solace of knowing that while Jennifer’s birthday may never be celebrated the same, I will always have that day to look forward to as joyous occasion. It will give my family something to celebrate even a decade after we laid her to rest. You didn’t fight that choosing, you embraced it, while many women would likely be jealous or hate the idea of sharing a wedding anniversary with such a powerful and potentially painful day. Again, you were my rock.
Little Olivia has been a blessing for us both, and our families as well. She is beautiful and smart, and with every passing day grows to be even more so. She has strengthened my resolve to be, not only the best husband, but now the best father I can be. I see you with her, and while you sometimes may think I’m buried in my phone, or a comic book, or the computer, I can assure you that I am watching, listening, and otherwise taking in the bond you two share. When I look at our daughter, despite what my friends and family may say, I see you. I see that unrelenting love in her eyes. I see your smile. I see your confidence. You may think you aren’t confident or that you are in over your head sometimes, but, darling, I have seen nothing but the opposite. You are a tremendous mother and wife and grow stronger and better at both with every moment passed. Our troubles will pass and we will grow stronger because of them.
With each passing day I love you more deeply and any doubt that you and I weren’t meant for one another becomes more fleeting and withers away. Again, you are my rock. You are the foundation for the man I wish to be. You will forever be my one true love.
As you read this I ask but one favor of you: never doubt yourself, never think you aren’t good enough or that you are lacking in any way. You are a beautiful, smart, sincere, and sweet woman. As such you have made me the luckiest man in the world. You’ve given me a second chance at life. You’ve given me a life to be proud of. More to the point, you’ve given me a life to fight, claw, and bleed to deserve and to hold onto.
Until they lay me in the ground I will never let go of your love, for I cannot imagine a single hour without your affection. I cannot fathom the pain and despair that would surely follow the moment I ever lost you. For that I am eternally grateful and shall do my best to be ever vigilant in its preservation. I love you, honey bee, from now until the stars go dark.
Love, your husband and friend,