20 years ago today, in my parents backyard, I said, “I do,” in front of my friends and family, to the man above on the left. Most of the people there had never met Russ because living the life of a pilot means you’re not home very much. It was an odd choice for me, since I had avoided military men my whole life, which living in San Diego, is nearly impossible. I loved my family and didn’t want to live away from home, but the truth is, you can’t choose who you fall in love with.
We met on a blind date that I had tried to get out of several times, but he caught me on the phone when I was trying to cancel and his dry sense of humor caught me off guard. I could tell right away that he was wicked smart, which I have a huge weakness for. Add to that a very dark sense of humor and I was hooked.
On paper it was a poor choice. He was gone a lot, he came from a very broken home, he’d had his heart not just broken, but crushed, but my family has a habit of picking up lost puppies, and he was certainly lost. I like to say that he didn’t fall in love with me, but that Russ fell in love with my family. He found in us what he had been looking for, and did everything he could to win over our hearts. He succeeded, even though I nearly died on a date with him, even though he dragged me away to Florida and then Denver, like I said, he’s wicked smart.
I’ve walked across The London Tower Bridge, several times,
I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, twice,
Above all that, we’ve raised a compassionate and beautiful daughter who has only known a father’s love that fiercely fights for her every day. My mother used to say, “I’ve never seen a man love a child more than Russ loves his daughter.”
In the last 20 years I have been given more than I ever dreamed of from a man who came with so little in his hands. What matters most in this world is the depth of person’s soul and the courage and strength to share it.