To my one and only, Laura.
We met freshman year of college, back in 1996. We ran with different circles, but had some classes together. During General Psych, she told her friend she was going to marry me. I don’t know if we had even spoken to each other yet. Yet, several weeks later, we started dating. She had come along on a road trip with my band (yes, I was in a band… I was a drummer in my former life) and we started hanging out. My buddy Wayne hooked us up, but then told her not to date me (or something like that). We enjoyed trips to Sonic, and her scaring the crap out of my while driving (she’s an excellent driver now–I let her back the car out of the driveway on Sunday’s). We started dating on April 24, 1996 at 10:20 PM. She was wearing her green Chuck Taylors, cut-off shorts, her Smashing Pumpkins T-Shirt, and her red hooded sweatshirt.
She came back two weeks early from a semester long missions trip in the spring of ’97 to be with me in the hospital during my kidney transplant. Several days after she got back, on April 24, 2007 at 10:30 PM, I asked her to be my wife. Why she agreed, I’ll never know! Several weeks later, I was at the UVA transplant clinic on a ton of morphine playing wait-and-see with my new kidney. I don’t remember a whole lot about that week, except that she stayed with me because I was deathly afraid of a certain male nurse (I thought he was going to molest me–yeah, morphine and I don’t get along so well). I do know it’ll be 13 years in May since that surgery, and I haven’t had one complication. And Laura’s been with me ever since.
We got married on August 1, 1998. In our nearly 12 years, we’ve been to Virginia and planted a church. We moved back to NC this year. In between, we had two girls (and a third one soon after we got here). We have experienced so much. Buying three houses. Tight financial times (which still take place more often than not). Planting a church and experiencing all the pain and joy that goes with it. Seeing people become followers of Jesus. Fights. Wondering in the early stages for brief moments what we had gotten ourselves into. Making up from fights (which is always fun!). Three C-Sections. Packing up and moving six times. Trips to the OBX. Snuggling on the couch watch bad horror movies. Staying up at night with screaming, hungry babies. Watching our girls grow up. Kisses. Christmas shopping and playing Santa. Being there for each other when we needed each other most. Grace. Forgiveness. Love. Pursuing Jesus.
And that just scratches the surface.
You are my one and only. Thank you so much for loving me. I love you, buttercup. Yoda one for me!