I want you to know that I will never fully do this story justice. That is because it is so darn good. The reality of it is so dreamy that it is near impossible to tell it all perfectly. Of course, that is my opinion, but in time, in years, I hope it is yours too. I hope it gives you reason to smile and makes you feel warm inside. With that being said, I can try.
Your daddy is the best kind of man there is. From the day I met him until now, he has the kind of heart and tenderness that people see and appreciate from knowing him personally or from afar. I see it in his relationships with family, co- workers, and friends through out all of these years. To be his wife is a privilege I dreamt of since a little girl.
I met your daddy in the Spring of 2006. I was a sorority girl, confused at my direction in life. My only care was to have fun and to keep up with my friends. I wasn't near enough concerned with school and my future career. I was supposed to leave that summer to go to a ministry beach project which I wasn't even sure I wanted to do. I was persistently indecisive. Actually, still am.
I had only known your dad for two months before I left though I had an assurance in my heart that he was my person. It was a particular moment. You know, there was a moment when I knew that this guy was supposed to be mine. It was after our first date surprisingly enough. We had such a fun time at a steak house in Newnan with a talking moose and discovered that our families grew up in the same church. I remember feeling it in my heart on the way home that night.
Your dad really laid it on thick in the beginning. His charm came in two forms. He could fancy it up as well as take me on adventures I had never experienced. He told me to get dressed up one night and took me to the Sun Dial. He bought me cowgirl boots to take me to ride horses. I could list many a times that he was full of surprises, but I would be listing forever. Listing forever, I tell you.
When I left for the summer, I knew our communication would be limited. I would be busy as would he. I would need to be focused and not distracted as my peers would most likely think I was. I felt a responsibility to give my all to the ministry and felt guilty for obsessing over what was going on back home with him. It didn't really matter though. Your dad pushed his way in. He took his work trips to Florida and made it possible to have his weekends with me. I couldn't even leave the project to spend that much time with him, but the little time I had available was his. When he wasn't visiting, he was writing. A letter every day. Literally. Every day a letter with a reason he loved me. I remember thinking that it didn't seem real to be pursued so hard.
Your dad also promised me something while I was away. He said he had something for me and would give it to me at the right time. It was a mystery and seriously perplexing, but nothing that I thought about obsessively. Actually, I secretly thought that the mystery thing was a ring. He periodically brought up this thing he had for me with a reminder that one day, I would know what it was.
When I got home from the summer trip, your dad gave me the secret. It was nothing I could have guessed and much different than what I had dreamt up in my head. It was a wooden cross. A perfectly shaped, soft edged, wooden cross. It had three verses on the outside and three words. He explained to me that what was on the outside of it reflected what was on the inside. A puzzle. I thought about it daily. He gave me this cross with the condition that I keep it with me if possible at all times for one day I would learn what was on the inside. It was September when he gave it to me.
Fast forward through our first Fall together, first camping trip, first dog, and first self bought car. That was a fun Fall, wasn't it Mr. Broome?
It was December. He had told me to pick a day to take off work to spend a day with him doing something special. I was working at Parelli's Pizza at the time and had taken a Sunday off. Sunday, December 17th. At the ridiculous hour of 4AM, your dad picked me up from my little house on the blvd. Most of my room mates had gone home for the holidays, only a couple of us still there. We drove to the air port and hopped on a plane to New York. New York!
A dream. This guy, a dream.
He said we had one day to spend in New York. We would be home after sunset in the same day. We walked everywhere. We saw Times Square and walked through Central Park. We visited a couple of stores that I had heard of but never seen. We ate at a nothing fancy sandwich shop in the side of a high rise building. As if the day wasn't special enough, there was a lingering feeling that there was more to come. After an afternoon full of walking in heeled boots, we stopped in Madison Square Park. We sat for the longest time watching the fattest squirrels nibble their way around us.
Your dad asked me if I had the cross and if I wanted to know what was inside it. I was totally freaked out, but excited too. A ring wouldn't have fit in that wooden cross and he couldn't have trusted me to carry it around so long if it had! I obliged nervously. Terribly nervously. I handed it to him. He got a key out of his pocket and started carving into the top of the cross. After a short time, he pulled a note out of it. Red faced and teary eyed, your dad read me his message, written the summer before.