How could I possibly tell you what you mean to me? You have stuck with me through lean times and leaner times. Then there were the really hard times. You have given me two beautiful children and there is another one on the way. I didn’t bring you flowers tonight because I only had cash enough for gas with me. We didn’t go out because I was working at my new job, so you stayed at home with the kids.
When I was in grad-school there were weeks that it seemed we barely saw each other, with me working full-time and being in school full-time. I used to joke that you were the most amazing single parent I knew. Getting married young has been hard. Brutal really. I mean, compared to a third world country we have it great…we have had very few times when we genuinely didn’t know where money for food was coming from and we have never had a time when there wasn’t someone who was willing to help.
I think back often to when our relationship was new. It is hard to believe how short a time it was ago. Our first Valentine’s Day was in 2006. We had been dating just over 3 weeks. I had said “I love you” just over three weeks earlier…on our first date. I still get flak for that. It was only a couple of months later that I asked you to marry me. You joke sometimes that the reason you said yes I was the first one to ask. I have always loved it when you make that joke because I know I would not have been the last. Any man would have been lucky to have you, but I was smart enough to go ahead and ask.
I hear men say all the time that they “married up.” I don’t like to conform to a value based ranking of spousal worth within the marital covenant, so I am just going to say that the fact you married someone who would use the phrase “value based ranking of spousal worth within the marital covenant” and have not killed him is a miracle to everyone-especially me. You are the love of my life, and not just because I know you are stubborn enough to stick with me, but because I really do appreciate the way you have made me work harder and become better. I know that often times that “becoming better” has meant you are stuck in some pretty awful situations. I know that helping me become the best me has meant a lot of putting up with a very not-the-best me.
Often times you have loved when I was not even likable. You have loaned me more trust, confidence, love, and patience then I could pay back if we both live another 60 years. In return I give what I can. I love you, Katie. I love you more than I love myself. How could I not? Without you there would probably be a Josh, but it wouldn’t be me. If we are made up of our experiences and our loves, then without you I would not be.