I was in a bar, waiting on my roommate and her loser date to meet me. I waited a long time, because the date didn’t own a proper shirt and was denied admittance to the bar. The good news was across the bar was quite possibly the most handsome man I had ever seen. He was tall, and leggy, with eyes that crinkled in the corners from frequent smiles. He wore jeans in a way that made me imagine what was underneath them, and I’m not that kind of girl. Not usually, anyway. His cowboy hat was pulled down low, allowing his eyes to be hidden while he appraised me, even though I felt his stare in the hollows of my bones.

After a while, I made quite possibly the best decision of my life, walking up to this man, and saying, “Are you gonna stare at me all night, or are you gonna come say ‘Hi’?” And with his answering laugh and a twirl around a dance floor, that was that. It was an end to so much, and a beginning to even more. I’d found My Person. 

I don’t think anyone who knows us doubts that John and I are perfectly matched. He’s the teeter to my totter, my sentence finisher, my comfort in a storm. He is loyal, generous, steady. He is warm denim, camp fire, leather, and strength. He is Good. Together, we are balance and solidity.

Many times, people try to put into words how much they love their partners. I write for money, and still fail when trying to express what it means to have a man in whom you can cocoon and be reborn, one who gives me the space to create, to expand and contract, in whom there is always a harbor. 

And so I hope by my acts, by warm meals and clean floors, handholding and kind children, always having Kleenex and Q-Tips in stock, my husband will know. I hope that my delight in him is reflected in my eyes. I pray that he sees the sun rise in me when he walks into our home. 

Every single day that ends by his side is a treasure- a simple, brown paper miracle. My only regret is not finding him sooner. And with this, I say Happy Birthday, cowboy. You make my life amazing. Like everyone else who knows you, I am so grateful you were born.