Our story goes back to the summer of 1999. I grew up a quiet introvert. I could be bold if I needed (short girls are feisty) but preferred to be a wall flower. I left behind my old ways of life when I moved to Michigan and was determined to become a new person. I met a new friend who invited me out after work to go meet some her friends.
It was dark by the time we got to her friend’s house. She had warned me about a smooth talker named “Steve” (I changed his name to be respectful.) Taking a deep breath we stepped into the backyard where my life would never be the same again.
Seth approached me almost immediately. Since it was dark we couldn’t see each other and I found it easier to be myself. I kept wondering if this was the “Steve” I had been forewarned about. I finally asked him what his name was to which he replied, “My name is Seth,’ and I breathed a sigh of relief.
We talked for a few more hours and eventually had to head into the house. I was pretty worried because our conversation never skipped a beat and now I wondered if we would even be attracted to each other. We both headed into the house when he quickly disappeared. I found out later he ran straight to the bathroom to fix his hair. He finally came into the room and I was smitten. After that night, I literally called my friend a few states away to tell her that I had met the man who I was going to marry.
Each day I waited by the phone hoping he would call, but he didn’t. Two weeks later we ended up at yet another gathering and I saw him sitting on the other side of the room. My pulse quickened and I decided to stay focused on who I was with. Seth called out to me a few times but I didn’t hear him. We ended up meeting up later as we left to go to someone else’s house and finally connected. I had already agreed to go on another date with someone else when Seth decided to throw his hat into the ring.
He was so easy to talk to and so kind. I loved his easy-going nature. I also found him incredibly funny. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I have since being with him.
On September 1st, 1999 he asked me to be his girlfriend. We knew we wanted to get married only a few short weeks into dating. Our friends would tease us that we acted like an old married couple, we were made for each other. We were opposites and yet we completed each other.
He proposed on December 26th of that year at my favorite restaurant. Honestly, he could have given me a ring that came from a soda-can lid and I would have gladly said yes. One year and one day after he asked me to be his girl, we got married. I remember on our wedding day thinking, I could never love him more than I do right here in this moment, but I was wrong.
We’ve been through a lot in the past twenty years. Still to this day, I follow him around the house and love being with him. We talk on every break that he has at work. We’ve been through so much and definitely walked through several fires both figuratively and metaphorically. He is my best friend.
I adore and love him more each day. He works so hard, rarely complains, listens, and sees the best in everybody. He genuinely loves to help everyone. I look up to him so much and have longed to have his skills. His patience level is off the charts and honestly I could go on and on.
I remember being up at the hospital with our eldest son Elijah. The nurse was explaining with peritoneal dialysis that infections would become the norm. When Seth took over, he took it over so precisely that Eli only had one infection and it wasn’t related to the dialysis. I fell in love with him all over again as I watched him pour out his love to our son every moment that he was alive. My heart broke on the day when Eli passed away before our very eyes and I watched my husband drop to his knees and sob while calling out, “Please don’t go, my buddy…”
He held my hand as I walked deep into grief. As I began to lose myself he was always there to pull me back on track. He took giant leaps of faith with me as I felt the Lord urging us to have more children when to the rest of our community it seemed crazy.
He’s always believed in me. He sees the beauty in myself that still to this day is hard for me to see. I truly believe he is a leader of leaders. He loves to serve those around him and is eager to see everyone succeed. When I was angry at G-d, he led me back to church and reminded me that pain doesn’t come from our Father. We’ve grown together in our faith walk and constantly having deep conversations about our encounters with G-d.
We are celebrating his 40th birthday this weekend. I believe that G-d uses the number 40 to signify a period of testing to prepare us for what is to come. My sweet Seth has truly persevered through great struggles with such humility and grace. Our kids adore him beyond words and still jump on him the second he walks through our door. He continuously puts his time and desires on the back burner so that he can support us first. While he is imperfect, G-d truly has blessed us with a such a wonderful example of His love through my husband.
I love you Seth. I love you more than words can express. You are truly my “Happily Ever After.” I pick you every day and always will. You are my true companion and the world is a better place because of you.
Tomorrow is his birthday, but I wanted to give him a gift of recognition today (something he’d never ask for). I love this man and I would do anything for him (He knows this.). His example makes me want to be a better person every single day. His love has shown me how to love without expectation and judgment. His kindness has taught me how to reach out to others and leave my own desires behind.
I loved you then, now, and always.
Happy Birthday, my love.
It will always be you.