Tag Archives: love

A Love Letter to my Future Husband

Dear future husband,
I don’t know your name or where you live; I don’t know how or where we’ll meet, or if the sound of your laughter will send the butterflies in my stomach into an Olympic gymnastics routine. I don’t know your favorite food, if you prefer coffee or tea, if you’re an early bird or a night owl. I don’t know if you leave socks on the floor or compulsively fold your underpants at night. I don’t know how your skin smells straight from the shower or if you like the way my hair tickles your face when I tuck my head beneath your chin. But I do know one thing. I know you probably have a lot of questions, because you probably never imagined you’d spend the rest of your life with someone who can’t see. Life has a funny way of blind-siding us like that.

Picture of a couple holding hands (image credit Ed Gregory via Stokpic)

You’re probably wondering how I can hold down a job or cook a meal, or how I’m going to bathe our children and change their diapers. You’re probably wondering how, in the early stages of our relationship, your family and friends will accept me—if they’ll accept me. They will, because together we will help them to see beyond the blindness to the strong, confident, woman of substance who loves you. I can promise you that answers to all of these questions will present themselves in time if you allow yourself to search for them. A relationship is a process of discovery, and when we fear discovery, we go through life in ignorance.

Let these questions be some of the many you will ask in your process of discovering the woman you love, along with discovering how I like my eggs cooked or if I think the toilet paper roll should flip up or down. Don’t let the fear of the answers prevent you asking the question. Don’t let the fear of discovery prevent you from welcoming someone into your life and into your heart who is ready to love you unconditionally.

I can’t promise you that life will always be easy, but of course, no one can promise you that. I hope, however, that during our life together, you will learn to see my blindness not as a burden, but as a gift. You will see it when you tell me that everything is okay and I can hear in your voice, without seeing your face or your body language, that you just need me to hold you for a little while; when the power goes out in the middle of the night and I can find the flashlights and batteries more quickly than you can; when you find yourself pausing to notice how a sunset tinges the clouds with pink just so you can describe it to me; when your hand guides me through our new home, painting a picture of the dreams that will fill the rooms with color and light. I hope that you will learn that we both have tools and talents, strengths and weaknesses to bring to the life we build with each other, but until then, I will cultivate my love for others—my love for my family, my friends, and most importantly, for myself, because the fact that you haven’t walked into my life yet doesn’t mean that you won’t or that I’m not worthy of your love. It simply means our paths have yet to cross, and when they’re meant to, we will both be ready.

Like what you see here?

When Love Opened my Eyes (Vision Through Words)

This week, I’m over at the Vision Through Words blog, which features work by blind and visually impaired writers. My essay, When Love Opened My Eyes, shares a memory of a relationship I was in several years ago that challenged me to embrace the ways that my disability deepend the relationship.

As always, thanks for reading!

Five Reasons Your Mom is Awesome

A mother holding a baby by the sea at sunset
Mother and Child

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and mother figures out there! WE set aside today to honor and thank mothers for everything they’ve done and continue to do for everyone they care for. Mother’s Day has been an official U.S holiday since 1914, and you can learn a bit about its history here. However, as nice as cards, flowers, and breakfast in bed are as gestures, sometimes we forget that moms just want to be thanked. Being a mom is a full-time job with multiple positions; moms are alternately teachers, nurses, cooks, cleaning staff, spiritual mentors, and a host of other things that we probably take for granted, because we often don’t notice the little things that make a big difference in our lives. So here are a few things moms do why they’re awesome.

1. For tracing hearts in your peanut butter sandwiches

Okay, I’m probably dating myself here, but does anyone remember those Skippy Peanut Butter commercials from the 1980s where the mom draws a heart in the peanut butter? The fact that you couldn’t see the heart once the sandwich was closed isn’t really the point. The point is that Mom took the time to do this for you, probably at 5:00AM, because she had to make sure she sent you off to school with a hardy (and hearty) lunch. I don’t remember when my mom stopped doing this, but I do remember that her hearts looked just like the one on TV.

2. For reading bedtime stories to you

If you think about everything your mom had to do just to run your life, from sending you off to school, to going to work to pay the bills, to coming home and cooking dinner while reading over your shoulder to make sure you weren’t skipping the hard Math problems (not guilty), she probably wanted to spend any “free time” she had with a glass of wine, the TV remote, and the dog that never asked for anything but belly rubs and pretzels. (this was a ritual our dog initiated. the pretzels, not the wine. At least, not for the dog). Instead, Mom chose to spend that time reading to you. According to the Reading Foundation, infants and young children who are read to or frequently engaged with verbally develop more advanced language and literacy skills.

3. For letting your friends treat her kitchen like the Waffle House (except with better food and sans drunk truckers)

Remember all the Friday nights when you begged and pleaded with Mom to let your best friend sleep over? She always said yes even though she needed another hormonal teenager under her roof keeping her up all night like she needed the entire family to become infested with head lice. And when you woke up the next morning, there were waffles. Always waffles. With chocolate chips. And enough maple syrup to send your blood sugar off the charts. You can’t really thank Mom if you’ve since developed diabetes, because she probably told you once if she told you a thousand times to lay off the sugar. You can and should, however, thank her for giving up her Saturday morning to cook you breakfast instead of shoving a box of cheerios at you and saying “Kitchen is closed. You’re on your own, kid.”

4. For making you do homework during the summer

Maybe this one is more specific to children who were raised by teachers, but I still remember summer mornings of having to practice my handwriting and my multiplication tables before I could run under the sprinkler outside or bury my nose in a book (unless the book in question was my required summer reading, in which case, I could spend all day reading if I wanted to). I have to be honest, these morning previews of purgatory didn’t really improve my math skills or my handwriting, but that’s not really my mother’s fault. I’m just inherently bad at writing in cursive and balancing my checkbook. What I did learn, however, was the value of tackling unpleasant things first thing in the day to clear my head and allow me to focus on the things I enjoyed with greater enthusiasm. It’s probably the reason why as a grad student, without fail, I rolled up my sleeves, however reluctantly, and tackled my daily writing quota on my dissertation before doing anything else. The downside, of course, is that you can’t numb the unpleasantness of difficult tasks with alcohol if you complete them in the morning, but I’ve learned to settle for caffeine.

5. For forcing you to make your bed every morning

Maybe I’m assuming a rule of thumb here, but in my experience, organized parents seem to think that an unmade bed equals some kind of moral degeneration. My mom also thinks this about dirty dishes left in the sink. The truth is that as much as we grumbled about this as kids, there’s something quietly satisfying about seeing that neatly made-up bed, knowing that your day has officially begun, if for no other reason than that you’re not going to go back to bed after all that work smoothing the sheets and aligning the comforter just so. Perhaps it’s psychosomatic, but I always seem to feel more tired throughout the day when I haven’t made my bed, so obviously my mom was onto something here. I don’t credit my neatly made bed for all of my work productivity, but it certainly hasn’t hurt.

Even as I write this, I recognize that the ways that we define the roles of parenthood have necessarily become more fluid as family dynamics have changed. Some of us grew up in the so-called nuclear family. Some of us were raised just by our mothers, or just by our fathers. Some of us had two mothers, or two fathers. Some were raised by individuals not biologically related to them. The label of the person who performs these small kindnesses for those they care for isn’t really the point; what matters is the love behind those acts.

2Question

What does the word mother mean to you?

How do I Heart Thee: if Literary Heroes Wrote Candy Hearts

Yesterday, a friend of mine pointed me toward some late-afternoon amusement, sponsored, not surprisingly, by Twitter, that allowed me to coast my way through the final hour of the work day. It consisted of a series of tweets from the account of King Henry VIII, in which he humorously inscribed his own witticisms on candy hearts. Take a look:

Naturally, this got me thinking about what other famous figures might inscribe on candy hearts. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and because I’m a hopeless romantic and literary nerd with a soft spot for brooding Byronic heroes, immortal, forbidden love, and men with adorably dodgy taste in sweaters, my Twitter proudly presents to you, from the hearts of a few of my favorite heroes of literature: Literary Hero Candy Hearts. You’re welcome.

Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from the 1995 "Pride and Prejudice". Image credit: the BBC
Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) and Elizabeth Bennet (Jennifer Ehle), “Pride and Prejudice” (1995)

Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre in the 2011 "Jane Eyre". Image credit: Focus Features
Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender) and Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), “Jane Eyre” (2011)

Mr Knightley and Emma in the 2009 "Emma". Image credit: the BBC
Mr Knightley (Jonny Lee Miller) and Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai), “Emma” (2009)

Mr Thornton and Margaret Hale in the 2004 "North and South". Image Credit: the BBC
Mr Thornton (Richard Armitage) and Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe), “North and South” (2004)

Edward Cullen and Bella Swan in the 2008 "Twilight". Image credit: Warner Bros
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), “Twilight” (2008)

Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw in the 1992 "Wuthering Heights". Image credit: Paramount Pictures
Heathcliff (Ralph Fiennes) and Catherine Earnshaw (Juliette Binoche), “Wuthering Heights” (1992)

And last but not least:

Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones in the 2004 "Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason". Image credit: Universal Pictures
Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), “Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason” (2004)

If you can think of any others, please share them in the comments! Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Sea is my Secret-Keeper: in Honor of National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I’d share this.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had at least one moment in your life in which you were afraid to tell someone something. This is my feeble attempt to put that feeling into words.

Sunset on the beach
When the waves whisper
stories entrusted to their keeping
by overflowing hearts.

The sea swims with secrets.
They play around
our feet like puppies
As we walk along the shore.
Now scampering forward.
Now retreating.
Wanting to share
hesitant to trust.

I watch you toss
up handfuls of sand
Just to see
them dance on the breeze
a little boy
playing catch with the wind.

Your laughter tugs
at my heart
And I feel the words
begin to form
the faintest quickening
in my belly.
Your fingers brush
the back of my hand
like an afterthought
and I roll my tongue
across the words
testing them.
I am a mother
blowing on a baby’s spoon.
I shiver at their taste
Like morcels of baker’s chocolate.

I rest my cheek
against your shoulder
and the words tingle
on the tip of my tongue.
A diver poised to spring.
Do my words have wings?
Can I cradle you in them
and fly over the horizon?
or will I fall
Foolish little Icarus.
So I watch the sun
slip over the horizon
and I blow a kiss
to the wind
that caresses your cheek
and wonder if you can hear the secret
in the whisper of the waves.