The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Tomorrow is my 11 year wedding anniversary.  That’s right.  There is a saintly soul out there who’s put up with me for more than a decade.  I am under no delusions: I know I don’t deserve him.  He is patient, kind, smart, and brave. I…well…I swear at spiders and politicians.

In 1998, I was a secretary in the Nursing Administration office of a civilian hospital back home.  I was working two or three jobs at the time, plus going to school.  He was a Graduate Nurse, working “upstairs”.  He had to come into my office because his paycheck was wrong; our first meeting went something like this:

1) door opens. I look up.

2) we make eye contact. He smiles. I smile.

3) angels sing. sparkles light up the room. CareBears whoosh by on MyLittlePonies. The Monty Python troupe waves.

4) I have no idea what I said. He leaves. I break my neck watching him walk away as the door slowly closes.

5) He looked back! He smiled again!

He was, and still is, the most beautiful thing I ever saw.

And he had a JOB!

I asked my boss about him, he asked his boss about me. I committed a felony and looked up his personal information in the hospital database and left a message for him at his home. He called me back.  The subsequent conversation went like this:

“Hi, this is J**. I’m returning a phone call.”

“Hi.  I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m A** from the Nursing Office.”

“Yes. I remember you.”

“Well, I think you’re hot and I was wondering if you wanted to go out sometime.”

…insert silence here while I scrunched my eyes and crossed my fingers and held my breath and calculated how long it would take me to dump my current boyfriend…

“Yeah, okay. I’d like that.”


That led to three hour phone calls at all hours of the night, dates at Barnes & Noble, dancing on the tables at Sun Deckers in St. Louis, trips to Miami, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, and the emergency department (that’s another story). It led to camping trips and roller blades and running shoes and too much coffee. It led to a ring, a dress, “I Do!”, “It’s a girl!”, “It’s a boy!”, “It’s another boy!”. It led to the ocean, the mountains, and more laughs than I can count. It led to another mom and dad who loves me, another brother and sister who tolerate me reasonably well, Christmas trees, C-130’s, British comedies, and a dog.

We’ve had our rough patches, yeah. There’ve been miscarriages and disagreements and bad perms and that time I let my little brother paint the living room. We’ve loved each other through tired, cranky, fat, broke, burnt food, crappy vehicles, crazy relatives, dead relatives, and geographic separations. He’s been my cheer leader for races that I really had no business running. It’s been a crazy, wonderful, unexpected, ever-growing, some-times-I’m-a-total-chick-and-I’m-sorry, joyous, what-the-heck-is-that-under-the-boy’s-bed?, lovely eleven years. In fact, they’re the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen…

…I can’t wait to see the next eleven-ty twelve years.

I love you, honey. You’ll always by my SuperMan.

(thank you, Kim, for the photo that never ceases to make me smile…)


7 thoughts on “The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Ever Seen

  1. . . . and crying . . .
    Don’t get me wrong – I adore J** – but I also know that behind every good man, is a fabulous woman. You guys deserve eachoher.
    Happy Anniversary!
    May you grow old and un-cranky together.

    P.S. – It’s still my ALL-TIME favorite pic.

  2. Some tears here … You are a lucky girl … We have been married 45 years and the kindness bone left our bodies too many years ago. Kindness begets kindness.. Oh my! We raised very independant and very successful daughters and have 12 grandchildren. We married too young, in the days when wife did EVERYTHING. iron shirts, cut the lawn, paint the rooms, garbage, just about everything. And now in those golden years, we are forgetting what kindness means. Some real tradgedy has set me bitter, but that is no excuse. Count, count, count your blessing, my dear. That is more story than you counted on I am sure.

    1. Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. ❤ I wish you every joy possible in the future. …and, yes, I count my blessings. An awful lot. 🙂

      Thank you, again.

  3. Love. This. I think the statute of limitations on that felony has probably run, by the way. (In case it kept you up at night.) Plus there’s a little-known legal exception to prosecution for crimes committed in the process of locating your Twue Wuv.

  4. (Haven’t been able to get to a computer for a while so I’m catching up). I remember the day you told me you were engaged. I feel extremely special to be able to say that. I was talking about my forever drama as soon as I got into the office – you were either staffing or I was relieving you – and ended the 90 to nothing tirade I used to be most famous for with a triumphant stretch and almost shout, “And, I kept my pants on!”
    You: “Jim asked me to marry him!!”.
    OMG, crazy jumping up and down with clapping and squeals, I had tears of joy, I’m pretty sure we hugged in fact I’m positive because your next words were ……
    “you’ve got an eye booger”.

    So proud, so in awe and just so happy to be in your life.

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