My loving husband's 24th birthday is today!
It's hard to believe a year ago we were still just dating, and just beginning to contemplate a future life together. I shared 10 reasons why I love him last year and though I could easily come up with a 100+ more reasons why I love Ryan I've decided to spare you the ooey gooey details. Instead today I want to share a memory with you.
I first met Ryan when he was 19 years old and still living in Florida for college; he was home for winter break and we shared a meal with friends. After he left we occasionally chatted using Facebook chat (does that even still exist?) but rarely talked on the phone. I knew through a mutual friend that he had a bad case of insomnia and one summer night I decided to call him.
I was working as a waitress close to my Mom's house that summer, and most nights after long shifts I would head an hour into Roanoke to hang out with friends. Feeling the need to take a night off from everybody I decided to camp out by the lake in my parent's RV. With no power, and the sun having set hours before I had a lot of time to think. After an hour or two I felt restless and needed someone to talk to so I picked up the phone and dialed the first person that came to mind, Ryan.
As we talked I made my way to the dock and sat cross-legged at the edge looking out over the water and up towards the stars. Ryan and I talked for hours. We talked about history, and future plans, we talked about our childhoods, and we talked about the great outdoors. We shared a lot about things we loved that night and before we got off the phone we said our first "I love you." The love we expressed was not one of romance or lust, but simply friends sharing their deep appreciation for one another and the care we both felt in our hearts for the person on the other end of the line. We have said I love you every time we've left each other since that night; even when we've left a little hurt or angry.
It would be almost three years before our love matured into what it is today. Loving Ryan has been, and continues to be, the most natural thing in the world to me. I am grateful for those early days of friendship before butterflies, and flirtation, and first dates. And I am grateful that he is still the first person that comes to mind when I just need to talk and look up at the stars. I love you Ryan more than any words or memories. Happy birthday handsome. big kiss, bekuh