I brush my hair in front of the mirror that I have used for almost eight years. The counter below is probably coated in a few layers of hairspray and has always been too low for my liking, even though I am short. This mirror has seen me postpartum and post cry. I have taken both mental pictures and selfies in this mirror. In the background I often spy a cute dog or a cuter kid. No one can sneak up on me here. Except sometimes, my own self.
Tonight I put on one of his favorite dresses and make sure my makeup is as perfect as I can make it. I dress and apply in silence, anticipating him coming to pick me up. I picture his handsome face and think about how happy I am that we can spend time together this evening. I smile into the mirror.
My boyfriend is picking me up for a date. This is not a phrase I ever thought I would type or say again in my life. Unless I was referring to my husband as my “boyfriend”, for some silly reason. But alas, it is a true statement and it is exciting. We have now been friends for well over a year and dating since last June. I never in a million years would have thought I could love someone else so shortly after my separation from my ex. But life (and God) has a funny way of working out, sometimes when we least expect it. Our relationship is not perfect by any means, mostly because we are not. We are both carrying some baggage. However, I am extremely grateful that this man is willing to work on anything with me. He goes the extra mile to love me, despite my flaws and imperfections.
My boyfriend is a really good man. He doesn’t bring me flowers because he feels like he has to impress me, he brings them to me because he genuinely wants to. I can hear in his voice that he really believes it when he tells me how beautiful I am. He talks me down from ledges and helps me find perspective. The calm he provides, with even just the touch of his hand, is exactly what I need in my sometimes stormy life.
During our dates we laugh often. We hold hands and smile across the table at each other. We greet people in town that we know and come across, while out. We ask each other what he or she wants and we offer to pay back and forth (“it all evens out”). We talk about the future and our lives now, our children (there are 5 total) and what we ultimately want out of life. We discuss the hard things and we watch movies the other has not seen.
I will never forget our first few dates and what a gentleman he was from the beginning. I will always remember how comfortable I was around him from the start. It is amazing how his actions constantly show me how he loves me. He has been showing me even before we said those words to each other. Because that is how he exhibits his love for me – through action. Through the things he does for me, not just by saying words. The way he wraps his arms around me and we just sit or lay in silence together, being held.
So tonight I try do the same, by wearing one of his favorite dresses and lovingly holding his hand as we walk downtown. I smile his favorite smile and kiss his bearded cheek. He gives me hope in love again and makes me feel like I am the only woman in the world. We are happy. And not pretend happy. Truly happy. And I am more than grateful for this new beginning, and the chance to be loved and love someone in return in all the right ways.
Thank you, Brandon. <3