Back in the early days of our courtship Dale and I had to spend a lot of time apart. We lived fairly close and worked in the same town but we both had very busy lives. I had Hannah and he had 3 kids, he had the band and I had a house to care for on my own – you get the idea. In addition to all of that, we started dating in the early summer and I had already planned a 2 week vacation on the Cape with my mom and he had already planned a camping trip with his children. We spent a lot of that time apart writing each other letters and poems and silly little stories. Sometimes we mailed them and sometimes we swapped them when we got together and then saved them to read later, when we were each home alone and settled in for the night. Today, in honor of our 16th wedding anniversary (which is tomorrow) I would like to share with you one of the first things Dale ever wrote for me.
When a girl who you are crazy about makes you your first ever cup of coffee too strong, what can you say?
Nothing? No, you can’t say nothing when you’re planning on sharing coffee with her for the rest of your life.
You can grin and say, “this is great” but that wouldn’t be very honest.
You could turn it around (like “cold hands, warm heart”) but that wouldn’t work.
You could go to Dunkin’ Donuts, but then you couldn’t have it in bed.
Or, you could smile and say, “hey, I love you – but this coffee is strong.”
We have so much growing and learning to do together becuase it’s important to us. I don’t want to be on a pedestal and I don’t want to put you on one either. Gentle understanding is the cure for so much. We both seem to be perfect to each other but I know I have faults and I’m sure you do, too. When you told me about your money struggles you were hesitant for fear of what I might think. I can’t tell you that it doesn’t matter because of course it matters, as do my bills, but what matters most is I would never say, “what are you? nuts?” I might say, “that’s a pretty strong cup of coffee” and then we’ll have a new pot together.
If I buy you red wine and you say it’s good even though you may prefer white wine – guess what you’ll get next time? If you cook me an egg over easy and I don’t tell you I want it medium then I’ll be eating runny eggs forever.
As silly as it may seem to you, my darling, that one cup of coffee will be a symbol of our love and our trust forever. The lesson taught so simple and yet so immense. Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.
Even after all these years I get all verklempt every time I read this one. And it’s still true to this very day. I make the coffee too strong sometimes (only figuratively now because we have a Keurig and that solved this specific problem!) but we always manage to get it down because we do it together.