I’ve always been a sucker for a good greeting card.
I think that this comes from my appreciation for the written word; it takes more effort to communicate through writing and feels more permanent – like a promise. I love promises. Plus, I’ve always felt most comfortable expressing myself that way.
Two months into my relationship with Nate, he received military orders to move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for five months of training there, immediately followed by a month of training on the West Coast. I missed him terribly, but we saw each other at least every other weekend. I’d send him little treats here and there to comfort him, along with a card. And not just any card – but a thoughtful one that I hand picked after poring over every word on every card in the store.
How much I truly love greeting cards didn’t click with me until Nate took notice of how the people in my family and I respond when given one. Not all cards can move me to tears, but the anniversary card that he gave me in April did. The front reads:
“I love the way you can read me before I even say anything,
The way you do so many nice things for me just because that’s how you are,
The way you live life with all your heart…”
It was the third line that really got me, considering what has been going on in my life.
What do you see in me?
Rewind to about three years ago, when Nate and I were planning our wedding. When we were planning the ceremony, in particular, our officiant had us go through the exercise of answering questions about us as individuals and as a couple. Not only did this serve as a little bit of “premarital counseling,” but it also primarily gave her insight regarding who we are so she could write about us and our relationship.
In the early stages of our relationship, it felt very uncomfortable for either of us to talk about our feelings. Actually, it just didn’t happen. It was unnatural for Nate, and I felt guarded. So I used the wedding ceremony planning exercise as an opportunity to understand why this wonderful man wanted to marry me.
Receiving this anniversary card and wondering what it was that inspired him to give this particular one to me was another one of these opportunities to learn what it is about me that Nate loves – not to stroke my ego but so I can focus on bringing more of that into my marriage.
Self-love and support
Nate told me that he noticed how committed I’ve been to my health – not just through healthy eating and exercise but also through all of the doctor appointments and medications. That felt like the biggest compliment I’ve ever received, both because of how hard I work to live a healthy lifestyle and also because it reminds me that, despite hardship, I know how to love myself and look forward to the future, especially with Nate by my side.
After experiencing some changes in April 2014 that threw me for a loop physically and emotionally… After months and months of not settling for feeling just “good” or “fine” but “GREAT”… After a lot of resources spent on treatments (and Nate never complaining, questioning, or losing faith in me)…
That anniversary card was just what I needed.