My wife Kimberly and I met almost nineteen years ago. I was still an adolescent, physically and emotionally. That doesn’t account for my age at the time but it is true. I knew that I was immature. I knew that I needed to grow, but I wanted to learn by taking the ride, and for someone on the outside watching, hoping it would all come out right, there must have been many infuriating times. Kim followed me on my journey. She hung on, so tight, until I realized that she needed me. That taught me the most important thing in the world. She taught me how to put someone else ahead of myself. That is the sort of knowledge that leads to a reward greater than any selfishness. For that alone I am grateful and indebted to her.
We have been through a lot in our nineteen years. I don’t remember if the power has ever been shut off, but probably. I have cared for her while she is sick. We have been kicked out of at least two homes by landlords who don’t deserve any further mention here. We have had friends and even lost friends. Through all of that, I still get excited when I hear the door open and know it’s her.
It’s going to get mushy for a minute, so stop reading if you want to. Physically, we have learned each other. All of those girls and boys out there take note. What your parents (maybe, hopefully) told you about sex is true. It gets better. You have to really learn each other, and then . . . WHAM! I can’t believe I survive it. It’s that powerful. That’s not something you can find in a bottle, or a bar. That’s something you can only find in a long relationship full of true love and learning.
We have always been in the service industry. It’s where we met and what we know. It’s not glamorous. It’s hard. It’s been a long road, but we have always survived, together. I don’t know who else would have put up with it. Now that I am growing older and growing up I have come to a wonderful realization: we’re not done yet. Our dreams are just beginning. Not daydreams. Concrete dreams, of a life doing what we want to do, together. We’re on the same page, man, and it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, and I don’t know when. Also, I don’t care, because I know we’re going to find it together. On that day we’ll be happy, but not exponentially happier than we are today, with what we have already and what we have wrought, together.
Kim’s first, unconscious thought when she sees me is to smile. How on earth could I want anything more than that? So thank you, my love. And all of you out there, who are searching for true love, I hope for all of you that you are lucky enough to find it like I did. I don’t think you have a chance, though, because there’s no one else in the world like my wife Kim, and she’s mine, and I’m hers.