I feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world, and I keep thinking back to the Fall Semester of 2010 when I had a crush on my best friend. We both had Tuesdays off that semester, and every week, we went for long 2-3 hour walks around Lake Charles. For the rest of my life, I will deeply cherish those memories. What did we do? We jumped fences, bought snacks, checked out garage sales, and went to parks just to talk, but most of all? We held hands. Brendan reached for my hand first. He told me that anyone would be crazy not to treat me well. At the time, I still thought maybe he was just a friend, but the gesture gave me enough courage the next week to tell him that I thought of him as much more than a friend. And on that Tuesday, October 12, 2010, we finally kissed for the first time. It was such a happy, thrilling moment. It was the kiss I had been dreaming about for months, but I still had no idea how things would progress.
Fall turned to winter, and we flew to Brendan's home in Connecticut so that I could meet his family. I still remember holding hands while waiting for them to pick us up. It was so cold outside, and I was so excited and nervous. Brendan said last night that he knew he would marry me at a party earlier that year, but I didn't know he was the one until I met his family. Never have I felt so welcomed and such an immediate part of something. I had already watched Brendan interact with my family for a week in Las Vegas, so once I met his family, I just knew. Not only were we perfect together, but I saw that our lives could fit perfectly together too.
We have held hands so many times since then. While skiing in MA, we attempted one black diamond that did not agree with me. I fell and was convinced that I would die if I tried to get up, but Brendan was right there holding my hand, and somehow, I made if off that mountain. We held hands while waiting to graduate from McNeese. The 5 friends in our class would give us a hard time about all the "mushy stuff," so it was only briefly, but it was a gesture that meant, "Even though we don't have jobs, and we're moving in with parents in a month, it's all going to be okay." Often times, we fell asleep holding hands, (which was mostly my idea :).
Things weren't completely easy that summer, but we did find employment (or, as we liked to joke, a job and a half), and we moved to Midland, TX that August. After we drove separate cars and unloaded the U-haul contents into our 3rd floor walk up in the late August heat, we held hands and drank beer. I was totally freaked out, a mess of nerves and wondering if this could ever feel like home, but Brendan reminded me to be happy. He said, "This is the start of the rest of our lives. Just be happy about that and everything will work out." I knew he was right, and he was!
It has been nearly a year since then, and we've seen our own share of challenges, but mostly it has just been amazing: everyday of my life, I spend with my best friend on this earth. We've held hands on New Years eve, at friends' weddings, and the night before my big job interview. We held hands in the rent car from Houston to Lake Charles just a couple of months ago, and every turn was an absolute flood of happy memories. And just last night? Another Tuesday and we were holding hands, eating at a favorite restaurant in Austin called Wink. Except this time, Brendan took my hand in his, told me I was the perfect person for him, and asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. He pulled the most beautiful ring I have ever seen out of his jacket pocket and handed it to me. He was a little teary, and I cried and promised him that I would always treat him so well. We could not stop telling each other how much we love one another, and we could not stop holding hands. This time it was another gesture: a promise we had made to one another that life has no guarantees, but that we would make it through life hand in hand.
In true Stacy fashion, a date has already been set. We walk hand in hand as Mr. and Mrs. July 5th, 2013 :)
It's a crazy world out there Brendan, and there is no one else on this earth that I would rather hold hands with. You mean the world to me. Thank you for taking my hand that day. You may not have known it, but that gesture started it all...
I know we will love each other for our entire lives.
|About to be engaged!|
|The ring in the beautiful roses that Brendan had already on our table :)|