Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This Day in History
August 29, 1991 - The first time I say "I love you" to Eric.
We had been together for over a year and friends for almost 3 years. I had known I loved Eric for quite a long time, but, as I don't believe it's a phrase you just throw around, I took a while to let him know the depth of my feelings.
I was about to leave for college in less than a month. Eric was starting his classes within the week. So, we had set aside an entire day to spend together. I'm not even sure I remember how we spent the day - I just know he picked me up in the morning and it was after 10:00 that night when I got home. Anyway, I wanted Eric to know how I really felt before I went away to college and knew this would be my opportunity.
The day went by without me saying the words. Then, he was about to take me home. I knew I had to tell him. I told him I had something I wanted to tell him, but I was afraid he might laugh. He promised me he wouldn't. Looking back, I think he must have known what I was about to say.
I'm a girl that fears rejection in the worst way. It is not easy for me to share my feelings with others in words. I'm much better with a pen or a keyboard. I'd never even thought about saying these words to another guy. Telling Eric I loved him would make me open to rejection if he didn't feel quite the same way about me. Knowing he didn't love me would crush me beyond belief. I had a good feeling he did love me, but what about that chance that he did not? What if he wasn't ready for that?
With all of these thoughts in my mind, it took me close to half an hour to finally get the words out. "I love you," I whispered. There it was. My heart in the open - for him to hold and treasure or to rip it in two. He smiled and laughed softly. He wasn't laughing a malicious laugh, but an understanding and compassionate laugh. He then said the most wonderful words I'd ever heard. "I love you, too."
What joy! What relief! He didn't reject me. He accepted my love and declared his love in return.
We have said those words so many times since that summer evening. He told me those words when he proposed and I said them back when I accepted. We said "I love you" on our wedding day. When we've argued, we've said those words while asking forgiveness, just to reassure each other that our love will never change. Those words have been uttered at the birth of each of our children. We say "I love you" at the end of 99% of our phone calls, no matter how short they may be. "I love you" is said most every time we part ways, even if it's just for a couple of hours. I often say "I love you" in passing - just to let him know I'm aware of his presence and glad that he's sharing life with me. He does the same for me.
August 29, 1991. I tell Eric I love him. I hear those words from his lips for the first time, also. I share my heart and he takes it and holds it and treasures it.
He keeps it till this day. And I keep his.