January: I met a guy. Well…I met THE guy, although I didn’t know it at the time. Call it coincidence, call it karma, call it destiny…call it what you will, but I was more than a little surprised to find out that not only was the guy a writer, but that I had read one of his articles a number of years ago and used it as research for a project I was working on back then. We had so many things in common.
February: Wrote a children’s book about the guy’s daughter, based on a video by her uncle called “Looking for Monsters.” It was a big hit with her and with the 425 students I was teaching at the time. The story itself came to me at one in the morning, when I awoke suddenly with the story already in my head. I decided to illustrate it using watercolours, even though I had never used watercolours – or done anything other than fingerpainting – before. “Boy, she sure knows how to get a guy”, my future mother-in-law commented. Also realized on the 20th that he was THE guy – he just didn’t know it yet.
March: How do two people have a serious relationship from 1800 miles apart? By talking on the phone for two to nine hours a day and sending hundreds of emails, that’s how! The guy says, without realizing it, “One thing I have learned from loving you is that….” I didn’t let on that he had said it, but inside I was jumping for joy.
April: Went to visit the guy and stay with his parents for a week. He was a perfect gentleman – even paying for (and using) two hotel rooms. His daughter leapt into my arms and wouldn’t let go. We went to the Washington DC Temple on the 6th. On the way he very nervously told me that he loved me. I said, “I know. You already told me.” And smiled. Later that day he asked me to marry him.
May: We decided to get married in June. My mother was surprised to find that I planned on making my own wedding dress. “But you don’t sew!” she exclaimed. “Not yet!” I replied. We also discovered that our mothers had already met. His had asked mine for directions to see puffins near here while his parents were on vacation two years ago.
June: The big day arrived. The moment of truth – our first kiss. In front of many of those we love in my parents’ backyard. My gentleman. Not that I really remember much, as I had spent the day before the wedding in the hospital and was taking lots of pain medication. He was there beside me the whole day.
July: There was a July this year? More hospitals. More pain meds. More forgotten days as a result. More being waited on hand and foot.
August: Medical issues continued, and still he was by my side. The end of the month brought many poignant moments as I prepared to return home, and he reassured me that things would be okay.
September: Back home, a new school year approached. More medical issues. He spent every moment possible talking via skype, playing endless games of online scrabble, and figuring out how to play board games when we were 1800 miles apart.
October: Enough is enough, he said, as medical issues continued, and arranged for me to see doctors there, who actually did figure out what was wrong and what I needed to do to fix it.
November: He was more than caring and supportive as I returned to work in a school…preparing for a concert, a musical and in the middle of report card season. Perspective, sanity, encouragement…he offered them all.
December: In the face of immense trials for his daughter and our entire family he kept a cool head, remained patient, and went about doing what needed to be done.
Sounds like the perfect man, doesn’t he?
At this time of year I am reminded that my love is not the perfect man as I, along with countless others, celebrate the birth of Christ, the only perfect man to have walked this earth. And I am grateful that my love is not perfect, because I am not perfect either.
My love is not the perfect man, but he is the perfect man for me because he treats me as the daughter of God that I am.