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Ten Ways to Say 'I Love You'

Dear Matty,

I'm glad we both decided to just take this day off and stay home. (I like the way that sounds, "home," can you believe this is really happening?) Plus, with the rain, it's a good day anyway to play hooky!

While you're still sleeping, I'm thinking that all the unpacking and getting the furniture just right can wait.

I was thinking about what you wrote in the 'comment' section of yesterday's post. When you wake up, I want you to read what I'm writing here. I think you forget sometimes how amazing you really are. Sometimes you get locked in on certain things that you think are wrong and for some reason can't let go of that stuff. So, I'm here to remind you of just a few things you need to remember.

1. Remember that day this summer when those tornadoes were touching down in the western part of the state and everybody on TV was getting hysterical? My family was out of town that day and I was at home by myself having all kinds of panic attacks. You came over and stayed with me that night. Somehow you knew exactly what to do. After making sure we had flashlights, radios, batteries, water and other supplies, you led me to the basement and we watched TV there. We sat there on the couch and you kept whispering to me that it was going to be alright. Remember how you put the TV on "mute" so you could watch the weather reports, but where I couldn't see it? Then out of the blue you started calmly telling me this story from your childhood about when your grandparents came to visit when you were 6 years old. You went on and on and I learned some things about your childhood you had never told me before. You had this incredibly calm and soothing voice and it was putting me to sleep, but I wanted to hear it all. I finally drifted off to sleep and woke up later in the night and realized you had undressed me and had me tucked away on the sleeper-sofa with blankets all around me and you were lying there with your body cuddling me. Your cuddling was so loving and gentle and sweet. I felt so cared for that night. I knew you were there for me and I had nothing to worry about. 

2. Remember when I got my summer job as a waiter? You organized your entire family -- your parents, both your brothers and your brother's  fiancĂ© -- to cook and serve me, just me, that really special gourmet dinner at your house. I loved how you got them all to dress up in formal ware (except for your younger brother who came the closest he's ever gonna get to formal wear: jeans, sneakers and a white shirt!). I felt so special that night. Special and loved by you and your family.

3. I loved watching you this past weekend while we were moving. You were so funny when you were acting like a total goof. It was like you were the ring master at this circus keeping everybody in a good mood even when those boxes went crashing. The guys loved how you were saying they couldn't leave until the bedroom was "perfect." It was like the rest of the house didn't matter, but, man oh man, that bedroom had to be done right. Then, when they left around 10 PM, and we were finally in bed, you had told them to sing, "Good Night, Irene" while standing outside our bedroom window! It's a wonder the neighbors didn't call the police!

4. I also remember about this time last year, you got a call from a friend of yours who said he just found out a guy he had slept with just tested positive for HIV. He said you were the only person he felt he could talk to about what to do. You helped him think about his options and whether he wanted to get tested. I remember you would call him every day to see how he was doing. When he decided to get tested, he asked if you would go with him to doctor's office as some support. You didn't hesitate one second. You took off from work that day and were there for him. They went ahead and did one of those quick tests but told him he would have to wait a few more weeks since he hadn't waited long enough for the test to be really reliable. You took off another day when he was out of that "window" period and were there for him when he got retested. To this day you are the only person in his life who knew he went through all that stress. Even after he tested "negative," you kept calling him for weeks later just to check on him. I remember you cancelled a few dates with me so you could spend time with him. I learned a lot about what being a friend is by watching how concerned you were for him. He was lucky to have you as a friend.

5. I love how you pretend to love going to the mall with me when I'm on a shopping mission! I know you hate shopping more than anything, but you put up with my excitement when I seem to take forever trying on this shirt, then that shirt, then this pair of pants, then that pair of pants, then this belt, then that pair of shoes. Then when I change my mind and seem to have to start all over again, you just smile and say, "Take your time," when I know you're probably thinking, "Please dear God, get me out of this mall or make me die right now!"  And you know I'm right that you're really thinking that!

6. About a year ago, your younger brother, (and his friends at school), went through a really hard time after a friend of theirs drowned. He called you around 10:00 at night to see if you would come pick him up from one of his friend's house where they had gotten together to talk and support each other. You told me you got to talk to him some in the car on the way home, and this is somebody who rarely talks about sensitive stuff. When you two got home, he said he was so tired he didn't want to talk anymore, but he asked if you would go running with him. He said he was feeling all tense inside and thought maybe a good run might help. This was probably like about 11:00 by this time, and you two changed and went running together. You said after the run, he took a shower and went to bed. After you took a shower, you said you looked in his bedroom to see if he was okay, and he was sound asleep. I'll always remember what you said about him the next day, that you hoped if you ever had to go through loosing a friend, you would have the strength he did. You're both lucky to have each other.

7. You made me so happy and proud when you were my date at my high school Senior Prom. I remember agonizing about whether to go or not, and you helped me think about all my feelings and the pros and cons. You never told me what your opinion was until after I decided what I wanted to do. You just listened to me and gave me all kinds of ways to think about it. I really believed you when you said you would be proud of me whether I decided to go or not. I keep hearing you say something like, "What's important is for you to make the decision you're ready to make." When I decided to go, I was so happy you were there with me. You made me feel safe and eventually helped me relax into the celebration. Plus, you looked so handsome in your tux! I was proud to introduce you, finally, to a lot of my friends. I'm glad you were there.

8. You already know how I love watching you when you're around children. I don't know how you do it, but kids always gravitate to you. Remember that time in the restaurant when that little boy was being loud and his parents were so embarrassed? You started making these really funny faces at him and he started calming down. He was so fascinated watching you. When we got up to leave, the little boy got upset and started crying. So, on the way out you went over to counter and bought a pair of children's plastic sunglasses and took it over to him. He looked so serious when you told him they were special sunglasses that helped little boys mind their parents. He just looked at you with this face that said, Are you serious? Then he broke out in this huge smile and his parents had to remind him to say thank you. As we were leaving, you and the boy were waving goodbye to each other.

9. I love it when you call me your Prince. It never comes out sounding corny. I can tell by your eyes and that smile you get when you're feeling something really intimate.

10. Lastly, you have shown me that dancing with you outside in the rain is about as close to God as I'll probably ever get.

I love you,
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