It was another life.

Freshly separated, sitting in an empty home.

Bitterness still had its sway at this point. It demanded my fealty to singledom, despite my loneliness. I was prone to grand proclamations against coupling in general and marriage specifically.

I was awash in loneliness. In a quiet house, half emptied of furniture and completely emptied of children, I decided I needed some companionship. Online, I joined a site that was free, being that I was broke and broken. I dug in, reaching out to women, and largely getting no replies. Or if I did, their vocabulary was rather lacking. This was not going as I had hoped.

Then a photo captured my eye. A ginger haired lady, face half wreathed in darkness, hat slightly shielding her eyes, mischievous smirk curling the lighted side of her lovely face. There was an allure that was written in nuance, born of more than physical beauty, that enraptured me. I read her profile, and I was smitten. I knew I needed to craft a message that reached her level of intelligence and frivolity. I poured over every word, nervous that the tiniest mishap would ruin the opportunity to learn more of her.

Nerves jangling, I hit send.

I’m not certain, in hind sight, how long it was before I received a response. But I did get one. I could not stop smiling as I read it. She was beyond intriguing. She was beguiling.

Two weeks of long, winding, intense, scintillating conversation ensued. Usually these words flew between us well past the witching hour. Finally, I drew up the courage to ask her to meet. I felt confident that she’d say yes, considering our steamy flirtations and deep discussions on all things. Still, the possibility of her saying no and ending this buoyant euphoria scared me.

Fortunately, you agreed.

We decided to meet in a fast food parking lot, as it was right off the highway. Such was my excitement that I kissed you through a car window. I had not planned that; looking back that seems like a strange place to recount our first kiss. But we did, and I’m not sure if my feet touched the ground on my walk back to my car so you could follow me to our date.

That date was the very best first date I’ve ever had.

That date was also ten years ago. A decade. Decennium.

In the time since, we’ve lived quite a life: raising children and step children, purchased a house, got married, changed jobs, challenging each other and rising to those challenges, traveling (with and without kids), several terrifying moments but more amazing ones, building each other up.

You have been my greatest journey. I thank you for choosing me to weave our way along life’s path. I hope that I’ve been a partner that gives you joy and wonder, as you have been for me.

The years we’ve been collaborators on our story have been a gift beyond my hopes. Let’s keep adding pages and chapters, devotionals to our love and our voyage as one.

Happy decennium, Moon of my Life. Many more await us.