This is the first photo we’ve ever taken together. It was New Year’s Eve, 2012. We were dating for a couple months, but we became “official” in January, 2013. Five years of dating my best friend, but it only took a couple dates to know he was the one. I used to imagine what true, once-in-a-lifetime love felt like… the kind of love that makes you smile for no darn reason, the kind that makes you feel complete when you didn’t even realize you were missing something. Life has this funny way of reminding you of the things that matter most, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, life throws in a dash of the unexpected. That’s what we were… unexpected, but perfectly on-time.
Chris wasn’t looking, and neither was I, and somehow we fell so perfectly into each other’s lives. I’ll never forget the time I was sitting on a friend’s porch in Seaside Heights, and as I looked up, there was Chris… running past me on his usual running route with sunglasses on and a giant smile on his face. He stopped and we talked for a while. We talked about the weather, boardwalk arcades, and his love for running, and then off he went… jogging into the salty Summer afternoon. Some football Sundays, plenty of late nights, and hilarious text messages later, before you knew it, we were in love. We shared so many things in common, including a love for friendly debate and a passion for music. We even wrote a song or two together, (which we promised would never see the light of day). He tolerated my obsession with art and design, while I tolerated movies like “Clerks” and “Airplane.” (We still debate our love/hate relationship with these movies. LOL). We bonded over football and beer, and our deep conversations about life, love, and… yes… his passion for chicken wings. We’re still trying to plan a trip to Buffalo, NY.
I’ll never forget the night Chris formally asked me to be his girlfriend. After watching a movie, he shyly turned to me and asked me how I would feel if he asked me to be his girlfriend. My response: “Do I have to love chicken wings?” Just kidding… I of course said that it would make me the luckiest girl in the world. Little did we know that his simple jog in Seaside before hurricane Sandy would blossom into the amazing relationship we have today.
Over the years, we’ve built a home together. We’ve laughed, we’ve disagreed, we’ve celebrated, we’ve worried, we’ve loved, we’ve struggled, and we’ve forgiven, but most importantly, we’ve helped each other grow to become the people we are today. We share common goals every day: to be a better son and daughter, to be better friends, to be hardworking, to always believe in ourselves, to always support each other, and to work together to leave the world a better place than it was yesterday. We’ve agreed that no matter what happens, we will leave a positive mark on the day, to never go to bed angry, and to always kiss each other goodnight. “I love you. I will protect you.” are our final words to each other before we fall asleep.
Chris inspires me every day, and I truly couldn’t have asked for a better person to share this amazing adventure with. Chris, I will always protect you, I will always feel safe with you, and I will always let you eat as many chicken wings as you want.