I was sick as a dog. My kleenex needed kleenex. I had been on antibiotics long enough to prevent being contagious, but not long enough to prevent the feeling that I had been hit by a truck. It was not pretty. But none of that mattered. Because it was a wedding day. I resolved to cling tightly to the adrenaline that comes from a wedding day high, and committed to being as professional and as normal as ever. And, together, we did it. We laughed with the bridesmaids, found the perfect place to hang the dress, swooned over the beautiful bride and groom, directed family photos, made sure to stay on the timeline, captured each moment of the ceremony, and spent the reception dancing the night away with camera in hand until the clock struck midnight. And not one person knew that your pockets were full of my tissues.
As you found me in front of the sink at home that night, kleenex all around me, tears streaking down my face, in a state of exhaustion I had never felt before, you didn’t miss a beat. You instinctively wrapped your arms around me and you held me. You let me cry into your best tie, and you told me it was going to be okay. You ignored my blotchy, tear-stained face, and told me I was beautiful. You told me you had never been more proud of me. You were proud of the snot-nosed, red-faced mess formerly known as your wife. In that moment, I decided I had never loved you more.
Today, it’s your birthday. I want to thank you for being the man with my tissues in your pocket. For being the man who always makes me laugh and always makes me dinner. The man who I can share everything with and the man who shares my passion. The man who holds my hand in church, sings with me in the car, and, most of all, the man who makes me proud. The one who makes me better.
You are so much more than I could have ever expected. I love you. Happy birthday.