I beg your forgiveness. I think most of you know that I am quite at home and in touch with my words when it’s just me and my laptop. However, you take the laptop away and put me in front of a crowd, not to mention, a crowd filled some of the very best people the world has to offer, and I’m likely to stumble over my words or ramble too fast.
I wish I could tell you you’re the man of my dreams. But I can’t. I’d never have dared to dream for so much. I’d never have imagined I could dream that big or hope for someone so wonderful to love and the miracle that he’s love me in return.
I always assumed that, despite having so many wonderful friends and family members in my life and in my heart, I was fundamentally something of a solitary soul. And then you appeared. And I learned what it is to feel truly at peace with another person, the beauty of feeling wholly content sharing a simple quiet moment with a partner and a love. The beautiful, impossible contrast of feeling so at peace at the same time as my heart beats a bit faster because you’re there with me. You are my journey and my destination.
I love you and admire you. I am humbled by your commitment to everything you believe, a commitment you live each day. I may always be a pacifist, but your willingness to stand up for your country is a level of bravery I’ll never stop admiring.
I love that you can be so serious, a big strong Military Man, and then, usually behind closed doors, be so completely silly. I love that you take pictures of an ailing fish so we can remember each one, I love overhearing you talking to them by name, and the fact that you set up a camera to keep an eye on our crazy little frogs whenever we’re away…or even if we’re just in the next room.
I am honored to have a place in your heart, knowing how fiercely you are committed to those you love, be it your mother or your closest friends. I am proud to stand here with you, to choose you and be chosen in return.
I have many wishes and many dreams for the years to come but one of the greatest is this – I hope that when I look back on this day that, despite my heart feeling so full at this moment, I realize that today was the day in our marriage that I loved you the very least and that our love only grew in the months, and years, and decades to come. I can’t wait for that journey to begin.