You will know when…

When you’re a young man there are things that occupy your mind. Things like girls, parties, girls, cars, girls, sports, girls and well … girls. If I could dissect my twenty-something year-old mind I am confident that I would find that probably 90% of my brains hard drive and memory were occupied by one constant obsession – finding “The One”. I’m sure these same thoughts occupy the mind of young woman but I highly doubt that the mind of a female can do incredibly strange, otherworldly things like creating the perfect woman in a laboratory based on a computer generated blueprint. And by perfect we mean a woman who hangs with the guys, loves watching Monday Night Football, plays video games in her ‘free time’, speaks Vulcan, can throw down like a Klingon and doesn’t mind eating pizza every day of her life because it makes her slim and trim.

The One to a young mind is a woman who makes his heart thump harder than a heavy metal base drum and faster than a Cheetah on Dopamine. She can do no wrong because when she speaks there is a sing-song, angelic quality to her voice that turns off the practical part of your brain (oxymoron = teen and practical) and funnels all of a young man’s energy into the fantastical part of the brain that makes you do stupid, lovesick things that makes the rest of humankind think ‘what an idiot’.

The One has mystical qualities because she can ‘walk on water’, ‘give you butterflies’, ‘make all of your pain go away’, ‘make you feel alive’ and an ongoing sundry list of things that only she can do because…She’s The One. Arguably, her farts probably smell like strawberries or a lilac bush too and she was born with alopecia because The One does not have hairy legs or pits.

When a young mind thinks about The One there are no other thoughts that matter, no other noun in the world exists except The One. No one else in the world can understand what The One does to every biological, spiritual, emotional, metaphysical part of your being. This is because no one else has ever experienced these emotions before – Not Cleopatra and Marc Antony (Rome? Egypt? Who cares right?); not Jacob and Rachel (if I had to work 14 years for a bride there had better be a Maserati and a cook in the deal too); not even Romeo and Juliet (Um yeah, I’d die for you but let’s keep the word ‘elope’ on the tips of our tongues too okay?).

The young mind can go to incredible lengths, think of unfathomable plots and plans in order to find, entice and eventually snare The One.

And then, life deals you a ‘reality’ card. No one can escape the ‘reality’ card any more than Taylor Swift can avoid singing about her failed love interests. Sometimes you see love for what it really is before you say “I do” to The One; other times (and the more likely scenario) it takes years of hard work, heartache, humility, understanding and the ability to turn a blind eye to The One’s faults while hoping that she will do the same for you before you realize that what you thought you knew all along is really true – that you just can’t do without The One you met yesterday any more than you can do without her today or tomorrow and everyday after that.

When I first met Super Mom (A.K.A. My One, My Wife and My Love), I was first struck by her beauty, then entranced by her originality and then enthralled by her love. Together we experienced every beautiful emotion a young heart is capable of experiencing when you are in love. The exhilaration of knowing that there is someone who actually enjoys being around you, laughs at your stupid jokes and thinks that you are kind of cute is almost too much to stomach for one very desperate young man like myself. I was astounded by this honest albeit tenuous reciprocation of love.

Our reality was dealt to us in the small incremental ways that so commonly threatens to tear apart young couples at the outset of finding and building a life together. Who doesn’t have to deal with work, kids, community, church and so many other things that absolutely consume us until before we know it we are proverbial ships passing in the night? When this phenomenon happens there is no sense of time or distance between us only the realization that there is a presence out there on the other end of the darkness and haze.

But she and I endured. Sometimes we wonder how only to be reassured that we always knew how. We were and always are surrounded by loving family and wonderful friends whose careful support helped us through the tough times through their prayers and hugs, and reassuring hugs. Our faith sustained as well, knowing that when all else failed our trust in God drew us closer together by drawing closer to Him. And the underlying, undeniable force that held us together no matter what the trials we endured was the pure, unadulterated, durable and convincing intensity of our love!

We have been working on this love for 19 solid years now. There is always a need for humility and patience but that comes easier and easier with the years. And if anyone were to ask me today how I knew that she was My One I would say, “You’ll know when the years, the laughter, the losses, the victories and the tears can be remembered through unspoken words and a soft kiss, a gentle touch or a silent embrace.”

I love you more than love Jen – I know it and I hope you do too, every day for the next one hundred years!

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