As a tween and teenager I was the very romantic, dreamy sort. I read love stories and daydreamed about a knight in shining armor. I planned my wedding in great detail and practiced kissing on the back of my hand. As a teenager, I wrote the most embarrassing, sappy love poetry which hasn't seen the light of day in decades, by the way. I daydreamed romantic moments that were a mix of the First Love from Silhouette love stories and my own imagination. Full disclosure: I still have about 25 of my favorite paperbacks from those early teen days though I haven't read them in years. See? Romantic, dreamy...
In college I told my mom that I had no intention of getting married until I found a man who would treat me at least as wonderfully as my Daddy treated her. I went on to list all the other things I wanted in a husband. My mom is always gentle and full of love, and she is a truth teller. So? What do say to your daughter in that moment? After a quiet minute, my mom looked in my eyes and said, "I'll pray for you to find him. Because, I'll tell you, there just aren't many men like your Daddy."
Fast forward about four years to our wedding rehearsal dinner. I would give anything to have recorded the toasts that night, especially my Mom's. She told that little story, though her version was longer and funnier. She told a little of my hopes and dreams and a bit about her dreams for her daughter and my marriage. Then, she said something like this, "You know, I worried for Relyn. I knew in my heart that a miracle was the only way she would ever find a man who would make all of her dreams come true." She turned to my sweet Jeffrey and said, "Jeffrey, I know you are the man God has for my daughter. You've not only made all Relyn's dreams come true, you've made all our dreams for her come true as well. Welcome to the family."
In that single moment, my mother, who always knows the right thing to say, summed it all up. It's been nearly 25 years since then and Jeffrey still makes all my dreams come true. Jeffrey makes me laugh. He holds my hand and kisses me at home and in public. He is never has anything bad to say about anyone. He's a snazzy dresser. He's kind. He's a good father. I could go on and on. Instead, I'll just say this: Happy birthday, Jeffrey, my love. Thank you for making all my dreams come true.