Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Love Day, Benjamin.

Dear Ben,

My mom called to wish me Happy Birthday this morning, and she reminded me of my birthday a year ago. Yes, I remember.  In detail.

A year ago I had been home for a week from a head-spinning 3-month cross-country trip to visit family and friends trying to distract myself from the typical bad luck of coming home from my mission. I was completely depressed, and left on that trip just a day after meeting you. You stayed calm and patient, though, building up a friendship and understanding of me while at my most vulnerable over the phone during those three months.

Eventually we talked on the phone every day, and had our first "real" date the day I came home-- a Monday. We went to the single's branch FHE together. Kind of boring for a first date, but it was something we both loved and wanted to do.

We celebrated my birthday on Monday a week later.  After knowing me over the phone for three months, and in person for 1 week, you already knew you loved me. I thought I knew I loved you.  But I believe I fell in love with you for real... or just all over again... that day.

You surprised me with a special birthday playlist on my iPod I was to discover later that day complete with some of my favorite songs (which you had to know about and take the time to download earlier), and some of yours.  I love music, and believe it is a wonderful way to express your emotions. Thank you for opening yourself up to me in such an intimate way after such a short amount of time!

That night we went to FHE, as expected, where they spontaneously announced my birthday and sang.  I had been home from a long trip preceded by a mission for only a week-- most of the people in that room had never even met me, yet here they were singing me happy birthday! I had never been to an FHE where they sang!

You tipped off the Activities Committee that it was my birthday, and they also surprised me with a cake-- white on white, my favorite. You even arranged to have the cake thrown in my face, reminiscent of the birthday I'd spent with my kids in Cambodia, where it is tradition to food fight with birthday cake.  I'd been thinking a lot about my birthday celebrated in Cambodia that day, and was so touched-- repeatedly-- that you thought to honor that special memory.

After FHE we got a small group of wonderful new friends together for sushi at a nearby Japanese Steakhouse. We were on top of the world sitting at that sushi bar, and the person on my right offered to help you pick out the "perfect diamond engagement ring", stunned to hear that we had only been officially dating for a week.

When they sang to me at the restaurant (which you made me dance along to.. .I'll never forgive you for that!) and gave me a cupcake and took my picture, you were in the picture. You had known since July (according to my mom) that you loved me, but that night I figured it out, too, and knew we would be spending eternity together.

Thank you for all your thought, sweetness, kindness, understanding, and love on that day a year ago, for someone you barely knew and who was very vulnerable. This year we are married, and it's because of that day.

Knowing I don't like the attention of celebrating my birthday, this morning mom suggested we celebrate our "Love Day" instead. I think that sounds like a fabulous idea. Will you go to dinner with me to celebrate the day I fell in love with you?

I love you!

This is one of the songs on my birthday playlist, and describes that day perfectly!

Jay Sean - Down
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