Saturday, February 14, 2009

When I Knew

“When did you know you loved me?” she asks.

Memories leap toward me, like children offered cupcakes. “Me, me, don’t forget me!”

The night we met twenty four years ago, your first few minutes at college, when I was a Dorm Assistant who had nearly memorized the names of the new freshman, and I had just met your roommate, and your first words to me were the challenge, “So what’s MY name?”, and I guessed wrong and you playfully chided me, and I thought to myself, “I’m going to have a lot of fun with this one,” I didn’t know that I knew . . . but I knew.

Early in the morning on a college retreat in a large cabin filled with our dorm mates, as I slept peacefully on the floor in one crowded room, and several of you came in to find us, and you jolted me awake loudly and more roughly than I’d ever been awakened, and I looked up to see your mischievous smile, and a feeling like liquid joy rushed through me, I knew.

As we walked down the bustling late night boulevard in Westwood, with me in a tie and you in the most beautiful creamy white lace dress I’d ever seen, and I held your hand and felt like we were in a world of our own, like invisible angels, I knew.

When much too late one night after finally arriving exhausted at my apartment to find my roommate answering your phone call, I drove all the way back to rescue you and your fellow damsels from the giant cricket, with each of you screaming, and I walked in to your room to find you standing on your bed, cringing and pointing at the terrified creature, I knew.

That afternoon on the altar, looking at all our friends and family gathered in one room for us, and the last bridesmaid smiled at me and took her place, and you came around the corner on your father’s arm, and the room gasped to see you, and I looked at your face, I knew.

In your high-barred bed in the tiny curtained cubicle of the outpatient room when the surgery was finally over, and you’d never looked or been so worn out, with eyes that would only half open, and you gently handed the cup of water back to the busy nurse, and then you smiled at her, I knew.

The night several months after my father died, when you suggested we sell our house and move in with my mother to help pay her bills and to be there for her, I knew.

The first night you sat on the edge of the bed and waited for me to take your socks off (and every night you’ve done it since), I knew.

Last night, when you were happily dividing up our two small pizzas and you licked each of your fingers with all the gusto of a carefree little girl, I knew.

And I’ll always know.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin


  1. You are a prince, Bill. Isn't she beautiful? Anita

  2. Nancy already wrote; this is the most beautiful gift I could ever receive and she is right! Is this already a tradition? You could do this (at least) once a year and make a beautiful journal out of it. Even publish this...there are men that could use a little inspiration...
    Enjoy your Valentine's day and each of the beautiful days you have together to come!

  3. What a romantic man you are! You and Nancy are a beautiful pair!

  4. You two are very *lucky in love*...the kind that doesn't come along , but once in a lifetime. A true inspiration to every man and woman out there.

  5. I can only dream of one day having a relationship that supasses all time as yours and Nancys does...

    I truly admire everything about the two of you...your love and devotion to each other knows no bounds...



  6. Love letters are so special. How blessed your wife is to have you write your sentiments in such a lovely way. How blessed you are to know what a beautiful woman you have as your wife.

    Adversity falls in each of our lives, but it seems that what you two have is pure heaven.

    Thank you for letting us peek into your love letter.


  7. I have this kind of love now. It is a precious gift.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Yes, thank you for your visit! I hope you are all well! I sure hope to see you all sometime. Take care, Anita

  9. Oh My! What a beautiful tribute to the one you love. May God richly bless your lives.


  10. ::siiiiiggghhhhh:: This is soooo beautiful!!

  11. So very sweet and tender...I cried! Happy (belated) Valentine's Day to a match made in Heaven! :)

  12. When I read this post, I knew.....that your lovely wife is a very luck woman.


  13. God bless you, Bill - It does my heart good to see romance thriving between a man and a woman who have been married for years! I would love to see Nancy do a "When I Knew" about you too! ~Lori

  14. i just found your blog. how wonderful! i love this post. i have gone back and have read pages and pages. you crack me up! sounds a bit like my house. i'll be back.


  15. let me just say, WOW. I just stumbled onto your blog and have throughouly enjoyed it...excellent writing and wonderful romance. thanks so much for sharing

  16. Loved this piece. Your a keeper.

  17. Hi Bill!
    Thanks to you for visiting my theatre! I am amusing myself over hear in MN! Take care and remember, we are always thinking of you all. Call us. Anita

  18. What a beautiful post, Bill! (I love the quote too--so true!). Such a sweet tribute. There's something so chivalrous about men who write! My husband always writes me poems for Valentine's day and I treasure them. You guys are such a sweet couple! All the best, and I hope Nancy is okay.

  19. I've been a fan of your wifes blog for many months. Today I clicked on you blog button, and I sit at the computer with tears in my eyes. You put into words what every woman would love to hear. What a lucky woman Nancy is!

  20. I just jumped over from Rue's Blog. I just wanted to say Hi and nice blog!


  21. oh, isn't Nancy the luckiest girl...well, i think you are lucky too, because you surely found a gem in her...Happy Anniversary to both of you...i am off to find my tissue box...the way you wrote of your love for your wife, has brought tears to my eyes...

  22. This is hands down the most beautiful words I have ever read! Thanks for sharing and don't be surprised if I don't bring my hubby back to your blog to read this as well, :)!!


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