Today Michael is 26…. I remember when he turned 17 and I thought to myself “oh, he’s OLD…. like REALLY old”. Anyone that could drive a car seemed so grown up and COOL to me at age 15. His old white Maxima with worn leather seats could have been a brand new Mustang to me. He was the cute, funny, energetic older brother that I never had. Our families were really close and I found myself always hoping that Michael would tag along anytime that his dad had a meeting at church so that we could hangout. He was so much cooler than me… I had a middle part and wore blue mascara on days that I wanted to look “extra nice”. I was two years younger and so when I found myself “liking” him… I just told myself to forget it. That would never happen. Girls loved him and I knew I didn’t stand a chance. The thought of ME dating MICHAEL made my heart flutter and stomach turn all at the same time because it was just a nice idea that would never become a reality.
All of that changed in October of 2002. It was homecoming and I was walking to the dance from the football field… all decked out in my cheering uniform, spray-in hair glitter and white tennis shoes. The tight ringlets of hair on top of my head were drooping because of the dew that set in at the end of the 4th quarter and I remember thinking “I should just go home”. For some reason I stayed……I danced until the first slow song came on and that was my que to find my seat along the wall. And then something happened that was strange, ….out of the blue and almost surreal……Michael came to my side of the room and asked me to dance….. and I was shocked……I followed him onto the dance floor and we danced. Nothing was said, we just danced alongside a ton of peers that we don’t even know anymore. We danced to a song I don’t even remember and I actually can’t remember anything else that happened that night….. but that night was monumental for me…. for us. That dance started something bigger than we could have ever imagined. As my friends clung to their boyfriends and our peers just enjoyed another high school dance….. I was dancing with my future husband…. I was dancing with the man that would become my BEST FRIEND, Soulmate, and life COMPANION for years and years to come.
Michael I thank God for you…. I’m so thankful that I’ve actually known you 24 of the 26 years that you’ve been alive. You are the GREATEST gift the Lord could have given me and I love you. I love you more now than I EVER have and there are days when I still don’t understand how I could deserve someone like you. Thank you for loving me at 24 with all of my flaws, thank you for loving me at 15 with a middle part and blue mascara….. and thank you for asking me to dance:) You are my best friend and today I’m celebrating YOU and the amazing man that you are. Happy birthday to my sweet husband!!!!!!