My Dear One,
You may still be the best thing that ever happened to me. I want you to hear that and know that I still feel the impact of your existence on mine every day. I don’t intend to minimize you. There’s no real way of doing that. You are charisma incarnate. You are peaceable and warm. You are magnetic, kind, joyful and dang you make personhood look good, baby!
When I met you, I couldn’t believe that a man with a face like yours would ever even look at a girl with a face like mine. But, you did. You reminded me of the beauty you saw in me every day. You told me that you saw Jesus in me. You told me that I was admirable, intelligent, clever, sassy and strong. You told someone once that it didn’t matter if they wanted to be my friend or not because I would pester them until I won and they’d love me. You were so proud to be next to me.
It is now my turn to be proud of you. I’ve always been proud of you. You were totally worth the hundreds of miles that your love put on my car. I will never regret standing in the back of a room watching you light it up with that smile. I will never stop laughing at the way other women in the room swooned over you, because, I understood it. You know what they say about men and guitars. I don’t think I can repay you for moments that I got to be a part of your dream.
The distance was the hardest part. You wanted me there, I needed to be there but, here more and you never were upset with me about it. You understood that I was working hard toward dreams of my own. Dreams that you supported with connections, coffee cards, affection and a soft place to land. You were and are the safest place my words have ever known.
Watching you during load-ins always gave me butterflies. You were so organized and excited. You were the epitome of communal as you learned the name of every single hand that was helping you. You still do that. It’s still amazing. The butterflies came because we were in the same room and that didn’t happen as often as I would have loved it to. Being in the same room with you, your first love and the community that you’ve built with it was astonishing and I always lost my breath in those moments because I couldn’t believe that you chose to share those things with me.
I’ve sat on many a questionable backstage couch saying my goodbyes to you and even though I felt the need to bathe immediately afterward, being next to you was the best thing in the world. I want you to understand that it was never you I wasn’t completely in love with. But the road took it’s toll on us. Our hours got crazier. I started to travel, you even more so and suddenly I was forgetting the sound of your voice when all we could manage was a text message once in a while.
I would have followed you anywhere, but, thank you for not asking me to. Thank you for forcing me to grow where I am planted. Thank you for loving me back so beautifully and completely. You were always really good at loving. You were just better at leaving. I’m still so proud of you.