Our very first date was on my 18th birthday. At Applebee’s. Talk about fancy. I told you I wanted apple pie so, of course, that was the logical (and most affordable) place for two teenagers to go. You might’ve even had a gift card or a coupon, another reason I would’ve fallen so fast for you. We walked hand-in-hand that night, you and I, knowing right there and then that forever was for us — no matter where we’d go, no matter where it’d take us. People thought we were crazy back then for how crazy we were about each other, but they couldn’t feel what we felt, because if they could’ve, they would’ve known that we would’ve been crazy to be apart, because, to use a timely metaphor, you can’t separate cotton from fabric.
Which brings us to this morning.
We woke up in a place those high school kids couldn’t have even dreamed of at that Applebee’s that night 10 years ago: Marseille, a magnificent port in the South of France, filled with hundreds of bright-colored ships nuzzled into the coast, resting atop the tranquil water, marked with memories yet eagerly awaiting their next adventure. It’s not a coincidence, I don’t think, that we’re celebrating your tenth birthday together. Here. But, just like you, there’s even more to Marseille than what meets the eye. In English, the word Marseille means a woven fabric embossed with figures and stripes, which, my love, describes with precision who you’ve been, who you are, and who you’ll always be… to me.
Every bit of you is woven into the fabric of my soul. You’ve brought stripes and colors into my life that, just like places we’ve explored this week, I didn’t even know existed. And like an eternal embossing, you’ve stamped my heart with yours, leaving your mark on me in memories, with so many adventures left to come, just like the boats here in Marseille.
So let’s hold hands, my love, like we did ten years ago, but instead of apple pie, let’s eat apple crepes, and instead of wondering where we’ll go next, let’s take a moment in Marseille to look back and celebrate how far we’ve come. Happy birthday.
In the birthday spirit? Celebrate past years with us here: