The reasons.

He stood at the front of the room with the other graduates that year who were being commissioned. Little did I know I sat directly behind his father whom I had never met. It worked out though, because I misunderstood his looks in my direction to be directed to me. Not that this was our first meeting, for my friendship with all those at the front of the room was why I found myself in that seat to begin with. I was proud of them for working so hard and achieving what they had dreamed. I never made it to that place, because my dreams were wishy and never solidified into anything until that night.

Our differences are magnified in this encounter. As he stood with his impeccable military bearing, I did my best to make him laugh. How he put up with me, and why he ever spoke to me afterwards is beyond me. I made faces and stuck out my tongue, I winked and giggled like a school girl, but he never broke. He was firm and steadfast and determined, and I wasn't surprised that no smile passed his lips during that period.

Once it was official and the ceremony was over I pushed my way up to the front of the room to speak to him. I have no idea if I pushed past his father or his mother. I have no idea who was around or what plans he had already planned that night. But the smile I so longed for in the hour before came when I made eye contact with him up close.

"We're going out. Bowling, and then I don't know what. If you want to join us it would be great."

I wonder if I said it like that. Did I hand him the invite so carelessly as if it didn't matter if he joined us or not? Did I say words which were more endearing and pulling and inviting? I'm not sure we even went bowling, to be perfectly honest with you. My memory fails me after the invitation was set upon his shoulders to choose.

What I do remember is his choice. I remember sitting in his truck and leaning across for a kiss. I remember being grateful and my heart filling with joy. And his eyes. I always remember looking into his eyes and being pulled in further than I thought was possible.

That night was not the first we had met. I did not know when I first saw him that I would love him so dearly. I had no idea how special he was as our friendship formed and others went in and out of our lives. But that night, when the kiss across the truck occurred, and when I looked in his eyes I knew that I was safe, at home, and loved. I knew he was true, honest, and forever. And that night is still remembered for both the commissioning, and the night which changed everything between us.

I'm grateful he was okay with how different we are. I'm grateful for the forgiveness he has granted over the years. I'm grateful for his patience as I stumble and fall. I'm grateful for the love we share which I would do anything for. I'm grateful for his encouragement and support. I'm grateful for his steadfastness and surety.

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I'm grateful for that night when I sat behind his father and thought when he looked in my direction that the direction he was looking in was me.

{This day trapped me. I saw it coming up on the calendar and wondered what to do. Mostly I wondered what I should write. I don't always acknowledge the holidays around here, but this time I decided I shall. Mostly because Natasha inspired me with her month long series. Yes! Month long. Go check it out for a little inspiration yourself.} 

Comments

  1. very beautiful Stacey,you could write a novel:)

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  2. The above comment was made by me,RButka62. Just couldn't get anything but anonymous to work.

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    1. I'm so sorry about that, but I'm so glad you left a comment anyway. :) I appreciate the encouragment. :)

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  3. I so admire your courage~ this was beautifully written.

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