Monday, May 31, 2010

my best gift


I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago. Not the Wal-Mart where we usually shop, but the little store in our small, country town. Everything costs more, but you can count on a smile and a chat with your purchases. That day, though, was not a chatty day for me. I had worked a long day. It was after 6:30 before I even got to the store. I was tired and not in a very chatty mood. There I was moving at a brisk pace down the aisles, barely stopping to think. The only thing I really wanted was to get home. Home.
A young girl with long, rich brown hair and a green grocery store smock stopped me. "Excuse me. Aren't you Mr. Lawson's wife?"

Don't sigh, Relyn. You aren't that tired. What's it going to hurt you to be friendly? I summoned up a smile and a friendly tone. "Hi. Yes, I sure am. Are you in one of his classes? Can I tell him hello for you?"

"Oh, sure. But, what I really wanted to do was tell you something. ... I was just hoping that you know how much Mr. Lawson loves you. He talks about you all the time, and he never says anything about you without saying, 'my gorgeous wife, Relyn.' Or, 'my brilliant wife'. Something like that. He really loves you."

As I left the store I was crying a little. Not for the gift those words were to me, though they are still an incredible gift. I was crying because of the gift his words are to his students. To those girls: some with terrible homes, some with no fathers of their own - those girls know that there are good men. Those girls know that it is worth the wait to find one who will speak only good things about them. To those boys: some who can only relate to girls with insults or objectification, some who have never been taught to honor their mothers, much less other women - those boys have seen how to treat women with respect. Those boys have witnessed first hand the kind of relationship it is possible to have.

What an incredible gift my Jeffrey is. He is a gift to me, to his daughter, to his students, to everyone who knows him. What a good and Godly man I have married. I am so grateful. Every day I am grateful.

Today is our wedding anniversary. We were married at half past two on a Sunday afternoon eighteen years ago. The day was perfect and beautiful. I thought that day that I could never love anyone more. Funny how deliciously wrong I can be. I love Jeffrey more with each day, each trial, each joy that we share.


I love you, Jeffrey, with all my heart; more and more every single day. Thank you for this beautiful, simple, magical life we share. Happy anniversary, my love. Each day with you has been a gift.


I chose this picture for today because Jeffrey spent over an hour scouting out the poppies in the wild, retracing his steps, and taking me to photograph them. That's just the kind of thing he does. Every day.

44 comments:

Georgianna said...

How incredibly beautiful and moving, Relyn. What a perfect, best gift, indeed. I can't add anything to the touching and uplifting words you have written, except to say congratulations to you both and to wish you many, many more years of joy and delight and adventure together. You are very blessed, but then, so is Jeffrey. And the world is blessed to have you both. Tomorrow is D's and my third anniversary - quite some time to go until eighteen, but a privilege that we are together, nevertheless, even later in life. I wish you a glorious day of celebration tomorrow, dear friend and thank you for sharing this insight into your special partner. xo – g

lakeviewer said...

Glorious! And magical! Happy Anniversary you two.

beth said...

okay...now i have tears in my eyes.....

and the happiest of anniversaries to you both !

Jaime said...

You both are such beautiful people. What a precious love you share. Happy Anniversary sweet Relyn. A gift you are to each other, and to everyone's lives you touch.
Love you! xo

Meri said...

You made me cry big fat tears. Happy Anniversary, you two!

Tracy said...

This is such a beautiful post. Happy anniversary!

Gigi said...

You have me in tears--big happy tears. What a post! Sending you love and congratulations on this very, very special day. You two are a gift and inspiration to all you meet. And you are so, so right; those kids DO need to see that relationships can and should be about love and respect. Many kids get so few examples of this in their lives. Your example goes a long way towards showing them how beautiful and blessing-rich marriage can be.

Love,
Gigi

Jessica said...

Absolutely lovely. I have tears dripping down my face right this moment. Know that the love you two share is of greatest inspiration to me.

WhiteStone said...

Happy Anniversary!

Sarah said...

How lovely Relyn! Happy anniversary to you both!

maggie said...

Just beautiful. Big hug.

Erin Wallace said...

Ah - Relyn! Your husband tells his class how much he loves you! What oculd be more wonderful that that?! Happy Anniversary!

xo Erin

Jennifer Richardson said...

Thank heaven for men who still sow those hope-giving seeds to young hearts; may both of you live long and full lives enjoying the beauty and fragrance from the fields you've planted way into your golden years....like fields of lavender and sunflowers as far as your eyes can see! -Jennifer

Lubna said...

Happy wedding anniversary and hundreds more to come.

Rita said...

Eighteen years ago I sat and watched you two vow your love to each other and what an absolutely beautiful bride and groom you two were. But today I see even more beauty in the two of you for I have watched your lives together and it is incredible the marriage that you guys have. I love you both. Happy Anniversary!

Lara said...

Happy Anniversary! It sounds like you married a pretty wonderful guy--the best kind who will always love you and treat you like the queen you are.

elizabeth said...

I am teary. Thank you for sharing stories of your relationship with us. Another gift.

Happy anniversary to you both!

HKatz said...

That's so beautiful.

Kids need that desperately - good role models to show them what love is, and respect, and fidelity and admiration and friendship. It hurts to encounter and read about kids who don't have that on a regular basis.

I'm choked up now.

Happy Anniversary. And thank you for sharing this.

Derrick said...

Happy Anniversary, Relyn & Jeffrey! I hope those words didn't make you forget what you had gone into the store for?! And the poppy is beautiful.

Tracy said...

Happy Anniversary Relyn & Jeffery... may the love keep growing & blooming! What a wonderful moment, that encounter with that young lady... what a thing a moment can do. :o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

Kelli said...

WOW. What a beautiful story. Many of us don't have the kind of husbands who would say such things. You are indeed a very luck woman. Treasure him always. :)

Suz said...

Oh my,now you got me bawling. My Magpie tale this week touched on a bit of this... happy anniversary Relyn
yes. love, share it..always...you never know who needs it..
what a wonderful way to start my day...and bless the small grocery stores

SE'LAH... said...

wow...that is awesome.
happy anniversary lovely!

Gayle said...

Happy Anniversary! This is such a sweet tribute to your hubby!

Connie said...

Oh My...I am crying happy tears :)
Happy Anniversary...you two deserve each other! Your love is obvious! What a gift to so many girls and boys that need to hear from a positive Male role model.

Jeanie said...

I can see why you were in tears -- I was, just reading this cold, screen. What a fine man you have, my dear. And yes, all the finer to share such things with others, and especially young, impressionable students. What a model he is and makes for them.

I send you greetings for a beautiful anniversary and as many more years to come (and more) than have passed. I think you are both fortunate indeed.

m.e (Cathie) said...

awww, what a sweet, sweet post sweet Relyn. I love that, I love that you know that.
happy anniversary & many more smiles, adventures and hugs along the way

Susan Tuttle said...

this story brings a sweet tear to my eyes -- it will certainly make a difference in these girl's lives. Beautiful!:)

xo

Kamana said...

wow. i am a little teary myself, reading this. hugs to you my friend. you are increadibly lucky. hold him close, that wonderful gift you have got.

gkgirl said...

ohhhhhh...this is beautiful.
sincerely, sweetly beautiful.

happy anniversary to you,
may you have many many more!!
:O)

Jeanne said...

So very touching and beautiful

Oliag said...

Here I am, teary eyed, trying to type out Happy Anniversary! What love I read of here...not only are the students lucky and learning from your relationship but we are too:)

Marilyn said...

What a treasure you have. Happy Anniversary. And even more blessed to have someone that takes you to the poppies.

Yoli said...

Happy Anniversary to a wonderful couple. We need more Relyns and Jeffreys in this world.

Chris said...

Hi Relyn-- What a wonderful experience. But that student did something else for you. She made you forget how tired you were. I believe someone, however you define that being to be, watches over us. When we have bad days or tired days or days where we just want to climb back into bed and pull the covers over our heads, someone or something happens, many times it's the simplest of things, and our whole outlook, not to mention day is suddenly a whole lot better. Congrats on your 18 years -- that's a milestone these days.

kath said...

I'm weeping a bit too - and he cooks!
We are both blessed with mighty fine husbands/partners/friends/lovers

xo
K

Amy said...

Oh sure, make me cry...:) That was beautiful! And happy {belated}anniversary!!!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

This is all so so beautiful! The gift of the words to you, but also your thoughtful loving response to this!

What a special life you share!

Thank you for giving us a part of that love!

xoxo!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I loved this. I'm so happy for you. I too was lucky enough to marry a good man. When I tell young people that my husband has never raised his voice at me or that we've never used words that we wish we could take back...they look at me like I'm lying. I'm not saying we don't disagree...there have even been times over the past 35 years where we didn't like each other all that much...but, we respect each other, love each other and most of all, he is my best friend. It can still happen...I'm glad it happened for you.

Hindsfeet said...

Happiest Anniversary, Relyn, what a lovely story......

I left a response to you on my site as well.....

: )

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm late in expressing my sentiments of a happy anniversary. I was touched by the words of Jeffrey's student. She obviously isn't the only one that has been touched by his words and his tremendous love for you.

Hope you have many, many happy years together filled with love.

meandering pearl said...

what a beautiful perspective you share!!! such loveliness

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

Dear Relyn, this post just made me cry. I am so glad you have your dear husband. What a sweet post you have written. And how glad I am that you appreciate what you have and how he sets an example that will affect so many lives.
All love to you!
xo Mary Jo

Bee said...

I felt such a huge welling of emotion reading this, Relyn.

I'm so glad that Jeffrey sends that powerful message to his students and, OH MY, you are so blessed to have such a wonderful man for a husband. (But I know that you know that.:)

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