Continued from yesterdays post...
I immediately ran to my Steve, because he truly was my best friend and although ending the relationship with the cheating, self absorbed, horrible boyfriend was definitely the right choice, it wasn’t an easy one. It took a great deal of strength, strength that had been slowly taken from me over those four years. Finally, I felt relieved and free.
Steve picked me up one day after work and wanted to take me to coffee. So we went to a little hole in the wall place and that’s where he opened his heart to me. “I’m going to say something and I want you to know you don’t have to say anything in return. I know you’re just getting out of a bad relationship and I don’t want to be a rebound for you. April, I love you. I love you, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I could love you for the rest of my life.” There wasn’t a question in my mind if I loved him or not. I loved him back so much it hurt.
I didn’t hesitate to give him my answer, like years before without hesitation I knew the answer, “Yes, I do.” It wasn’t long before we were discussing marriage. Four months later to be exact. Like the gentleman he is, he asked my dad and mom for my hand in marriage before he asked me. Then, while eating at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in front of a packed house he asked me to marry him and gave me a ring. The whole place cheered. Although for many people we knew, it seemed as though we were moving too quickly. For us, it had been years of having to hide our love for each other, it felt long overdue.
On a whim while driving by the court house we applied for our marriage license with hopes of getting married right then and there. We were told that we would have to wait a week before we could legally get married. We were planning a big wedding for August and planned on still going through with it, but we didn’t want to wait that long to become husband and wife. Nine months is a long time to wait when you’re young and in love. At the time I was managing a drive-thru coffee hut and on this particular night I was closing. I received a message from Steve. It read, “Meet me at the Wedding Grotto at 6:00 pm.” I knew it meant that he had found a place for us to tie the knot. I screamed with excitement, and I realized I was closing! We didn’t close until 5 o’clock which certainly didn’t give me enough time to go home shower and get ready for my wedding day!! So, I closed up early not caring about the consequences.
It was all such a whirlwind experience, but I didn’t care I knew it was right. My parents, my little sister, and Steve’s parents were the only one’s present. Some strange woman married us on the back deck of a lowly wedding store called, The Wedding Grotto. I question to this day whether or not she was even licensed to do so.
The ceremony of sorts began and the woman asked him if he would take me to be his wife and he said, “I do,” then placed the ring on my finger. It was my turn to take the vows; I was nervous and anxious, worried I was going to mess up the words. The woman then asked me if I would take this man to be my husband. I answered using the same words I had used twice before, again, without hesitation, “Yes, I do!”
Today we’re going on our thirteenth year of marriage. I love him more now than I ever have. I would have believed that loving him more was even possible. Our journey hasn’t been perfect by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve gone through some very hard times, but in the end we’ve grown from those hardships, and our love is stronger because of them.
In a card I received from Steve last Valentine’s Day he wrote, “April, It seems like every day that I run into somebody who is involved in some tragic love story. Every time I hear of one of these, it reminds me of just how lucky I am. How lucky am I that I am married to someone so perfect for me, lucky that I got to marry my beautiful best friend. I love you more than you will ever know. Happy Valentine’s Day! ~Steve~”
Steve is an amazing man, a selfless, giving wonderful man. He’s a rare find; I know I am blessed beyond measure. Not only is he the best husband, he’s also an extraordinary daddy. Together and with God we have created three beautiful children. I couldn’t ask for a better partner to raise them with. He is a leader, a provider, comforter, lover and my best friend. He is my Prince Charming, my Steve, and I will love him forever and always.