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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Garner

This is the First Day of My Life

I’m writing this because I don’t know any other way to make sense of my world right now. Things are so up in the air. I’m truly living moment by moment. Maybe someone reads this and gives them pause to just love the one they’re with a little more, or be patient with the quirks that drive them insane. Maybe it gives someone a tiny bit of hope that real love is out there. If I’m completely honest, though, I’m writing this for myself; so I can get these words out. It helps me to read it over and over again so I know it’s real.

I’ve always felt this unbreakable tie to this man; like we’ve been together before, and we will be again. I can’t explain it. I’ve been married before, and had maybe a few too many other boyfriends, and never have I been with someone that I instantly “knew”. I can remember so clearly the first time I saw him. He was actually on a date with someone else, but I just felt like I knew him. Don’t worry ya’ll...luckily his other date didn’t work out. :)

When our paths crossed again, it was magical. I can feel that feeling still. I remember when he kissed me the first time so damn clearly. I can still feel the feeling of when he told me he loved me the first time like it just happened yesterday. These memories are so clear, they sting a little thinking about them now.

His laugh made me feel like I had come home. His hand in mine made me know I could do anything. The way he loved my daughter was everything. There was never any doubt I would have him in my life forever, and there still isn’t. Not one ounce. We’ve had the best marriage and the worst marriage at times. We have loved each other deeply and been really quite horrible to each other. Shit has gotten hard in the last nine years. Like, really hard. We loved hard, but also were unkind to each other, and unsupportive at times. We hurt each other, and fought, but we always came back together. We always sat at that sunset and talked it out, and decided we didn’t want to do life without each other; that the good times were far more valuable to us than whatever pain existed. That makes me happier than anything. There's something so real about a love that is worth fighting for.

Saturday night, in an attempt to have a little normalcy, we sat in a hospital room and watched a concert together, a “date night” of sorts. We’ve seen a lot of concerts together, and music has always been something we connect over. Some of my best memories with him involve music; whether it's listening to him play, or driving in the car playing songs that remind us of our youth, all of it connected us. I thought, maybe, if I could bring a little bit of that, we could create a new memory. He was in and out for most of it, but his hand was in mine, and when he was there, I felt like I was right back on that first date, hopeful and excited. A new memory was made; a memory where I felt completely content and loved. This is what love is to me, ya’ll….that feeling of home no matter where you are. We watched the sunset again, this time from 22 stories up in a hospital tower, and it was just as beautiful as it was on that beach with him. I was still with him, and that’s what matters.

There are a lot of times I look back at, and wonder if I would change them if given the opportunity. I don’t think I would. I think where we are is where we need to be, for some reason, despite how unbearably impossible it feels right now. We are being given a chance to look deeply at ourselves and our lives and appreciate what we have. We are being pushed to choose how to be in each moment, and continue to fight for love.

I know everyday isn’t perfect, and won't be if we do make it out of this. I don’t think there’s any relationship out there that isn’t a little bit annoying sometimes, or doesn’t have it’s issues....but all of those things seem so trivial now. I give myself grace for taking him for granted, or getting frustrated for little things. I didn’t have the perspective I do now. I couldn’t have known. I can forgive myself, and him fully for those things. We just didn’t know. But now we do, and the world looks so different.

I’m going to write this next part to you, Zack. I love you. You still make me feel like we can do anything. You still give me butterflies when you reach for my hand. Thank you.

I want to have plenty more of your messes to clean up. I want to wait for you while you change your outfits three times. I want to sit on the couch with you while you look for a movie to watch for two hours. Those things mean something to me now. They used to annoy me. I used to think of them as inconveniences, or things I would change about you. Not anymore. Now, I want to come home and see your shoes everywhere, and your mail piled up on the counter. I want to watch 72 movie trailers with you, knowing we might not even find a damn movie to watch in the end. The memories we have created fill me with so much joy. Even the tough ones are more than I could ever dream of. You were there by my side through it all, and I cannot imagine a moment that you aren’t.

Right now all I have is a prayer that we have more time for motorcycle rides, dive bars and hikes in the woods and up fire towers. I want to search for trips to take with you forever, and sit on more porches with you and listen to music.I want you by my side when Scout leaves for college, and finds her own love of her life. All I can I wish for is so many more nights listening to you play your guitar while I cook dinner, and a deep, deep appreciation for what we have been lucky enough to have. If I don’t get more of them, then I choose to believe this was enough, and that these memories will carry me far.

There’s a song that you sent me that first night we spent together, and every time I hear it, I’m reminded that we get to start over every day. We get to decide that today is the first day of our lives and do things differently. Today, I am your wife, and I couldn’t be prouder. I couldn’t love you any more than I do.

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