Six years ago on Holy Thursday, I went out to dinner with my friends (okay, a bunch of priests and other committee members) after seeing you and Eva together for the first time at Mass. When I got home I went upstairs to say goodnight to my mom.
“Did you have fun?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I responded.
“Good. You need to marry that boy and help raise that little girl.” I was taken aback, because I’d thought exactly the same thing earlier than night, seeing you sit with our daughter at Mass. It was ridiculous.
I scoffed. “Mommy, I don’t need a project.”
I didn’t. I was young, had a job I loved and was good at, and a career fairly firmly in front of me. I wasn’t (hadn’t ever really) dating anyone seriously, I was pretty sure I was never going to have kids because of my career, and I knew exactly what I wanted my life to look like.
I fell in love with you, and Eva. I decided that making a life with you was a project I definitely wanted. And my life looks absolutely nothing like I thought it would.
You are, without a doubt, the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
(Like all the days in which I don’t get out of leggings.)
(Like all the days that end in y.)
You’ve given me a better life than skinny Kathleen could have imagined in 2011. You’ve given me not only my dream house, a completely amazing living, and the safety from student loan collectors, but you’ve given me my children. My children. They are my very heart, and I wouldn’t have them without you.
You’ve been here for me through everything. You held my hand (and my legs) while I had our baby. You held me afterwards when I sobbed and sobbed and just wanted life To be good again. You made sure I got better.
You’ve given up everything for us. You make every effort to put my feelings and our union above everything else. You moved for me. You let me put your office in a closet.
You are a good man. You are kind, and wonderful. Your devotion to the sacraments and the church makes me want to be a better woman. You are an example to our children in a way that so many children don’t get to have.
You lay down your life for us every day. I am so lucky that I get to spend another year doing the same for you.
Happy birthday, honey. I love you so much. Thank you for everything.