There is you and then there is nothing. Absent you, no laughter, no smiles, no silliness, no joy. Absent you, no peace, no calm, no comfort. I found in you the lesson that we learn not only through adversity, but also through great fortune. I’ve found in you a lover, a companion, a confidant, a kindred spirit and a best friend.
You’ve taught me to laugh at myself. You’ve taught me to laugh at life. You’ve even taught me to laugh at others but to do so without malice or spite but, rather, with a light-hearted joy at the comedy that is life and the knowledge that we are all just pratfall actors in a sitcom.
You’ve convinced me to let my guard down again and have never once given me cause to regret it. You are the only one I ever completely relax around. You’ve shown me what unconditional love really is. You’ve filled my life with peace, comfort, contentment and joy.
You have filled the last emptiness in my life, bringing me a father, a mother, a sister and a brother. I never knew how empty my life was without them until you filled that void.
I see your infinite capacity for love every day you play with our dogs and cat. I see your nurturing and loving heart in your affection for them. I’ve never known as big or warm a spirit as yours. I’ve never known anybody who recognized the pure innocence in an animal’s intent the same way I do until I met you.
I never grow tired of being with you. I’ve never known anyone as expressive as you. I never grow bored of looking at you. When you aren’t aware, I sneak looks at you and grin as your face lights up during a funny show. When I’m not in the same room, I find myself smiling from the other room at the sounds of you cheering on the Yankees or laughing at sitcoms. Were you to go away forever I’d as soon be deaf. I couldn’t bear the absence of the sound of you in my life.
I’ve always wondered if there is a point in life when we recognize we’re done and have accomplished all the important stuff; found the end of the book and everything from that point forward is just plot wrap-up and decorative touches. That day came for me on a sunny day in late October 2000. It was the day I took the plunge, let down the last bit of armor, abandoned my fear-induced self-preservation tactics learned from one too many failed relationships and slipped a ring on your finger. The most important things in my life have been wrapped up. In all the years since that day I have never once regretted taking you as my wife. I have never wished for a different life. I have never felt more at peace. I have never been more in love.
This blog is about kindness. An outsider reading this might think I’m writing this post as a kindness to my wife. I’m not. I am, instead, celebrating the kindness she has shown me by letting me join her on the greatest journey of my life. One that feels like it only started yesterday and one I want to never see come to an end.
I love you, Kathleen. Thank you for filling up my heart. I’ve never loved a better woman and I’ve never had a better friend.