Dear Future Husband: The Luckiest

A quick look around the crowded room trying to figure out how this person knew that person and how this group connected with another resulted in the expected awkwardness of a gathering like this. Undercurrents of first impression pressure and uncomfortable shoes. Collective strangers with a few more intimate connections. I was glancing every which way, looking but not really seeing, until my wandering eyes stopped when they found you.

You were standing there casually. There was nothing extraordinary about your appearance or demeanor but an underlying confidence in who you are. I kept trying to seem interested in the conversation around me but it was quickly becoming apparent that my focus was elsewhere. As you turned around I caught a glimpse of your smile when you started to laugh at some joke your conversation partner was making. Your eyes found mine for the briefest of moments. Maybe not even long enough to register recognition. Because in that split second I was of no importance to you. But I felt my dusty heart beat for the first time in a long time.

and in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
and I know that I am the luckiest.

Several months later we were in another crowded room. This one was a little bit different. You were across the room talking to my grandmother about golf or college basketball or something that she loves that makes my eyes glaze over. You were intensely defending your favorite team’s recent loss as she took the offensive and issued proclamations they would never get into “the big dance.” I was standing in the kitchen with my mom putting some dishes away when you glanced back at me. I saw fierce determination to sway her to your side – a persuasiveness that often works to your advantage – but I saw something else there too. A glint. A settledness. An enjoyment of home and family.

Unlike the first time our eyes met, this time you locked your gaze with mine. Offering a half smile and a quick wink only directed at me. That simple gestured reassured me that all was well. That you knew you belonged as much as I felt you belonged. In that moment I wondered if you knew that I knew that this was something neither of us had seen coming but we had both been waiting and hoping for.

and in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
and I know that I am the luckiest.

And then there was that moment.

My favorite one so far.

Your back was to me and you were all alone. Standing there shifting side to side waiting for me to call your name. But for a moment I just stood there, noticing that tiny little tuft of hair that curls at the base of your neck, admiring how the shirt sat so well on your shoulders, giggling a little bit because your shirt had come a bit untucked in the back, and laughing out loud when I saw your sneaky shoe switch. You always liked to catch me off-guard. I took a deep breath anxious that the butterflies in my stomach would flap their wings so hard my whole body would take flight.

I took those final steps towards you and said your name. You stopped shifting, took a long inhale and exhale, and slowly turned around with closed eyes. As you cracked your eyes to take me in from head to toe I felt your love radiate. When your eyes came back to meet mine, I smiled. “Hi.” I said shyly. “Hi.” You responded. Your eyes said everything I needed to know. They were full with love and awe, bright with unshed emotion, twinkling with the jokes we’d shared the last few months, strong with the tough conversations that took place as we figured out how to be two broken people trying to love each other, hopeful for our future ahead, and passionate for the adventure we were about to embark on.

I saw my past, present, and future in those eyes, in that moment.

and in a wide sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
and I know that I am, I am, I am the luckiest.

until then, I’ll be here.

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