Me. Taken all those years ago, way back when, in the very early days of our relationship, when I knew I was falling head over heels in love with Joe, when I knew he was completely smitten with me, when I knew nothing but hope and possibility and romance and adventures and excitements.
Way back when, in northern Chicago on a deserted autumn beach, a horribly off-color joke (and nowhere near as wicked as they are now) had me both laughing and blushing at the same time, and I knew, even then, even in those very early days of a blossoming relationship, there was something special to be shared and enjoyed and savored between us. Just like I knew Chicago would somehow play a role in our futures and I knew, but didn't really understand, all the heartache and love and stress and strength that would come from three years of long distance love.
But even then, just as now, all it takes is an awful wicked joke or a wink or a kiss from Joe, and that radiant smile spreads across my face. Spreads may be too slowly....these smiles race. Already, I know (partly because I see the early signs) I'm going to have the most incredible smile lines on my face when I'm wrinkled and old. And I hope, oh how I hope, I am blessed with the kind of joy and happiness and love of life throughout all my days that allow me to smile so warmly, so genuinely, so all the way from the corners of my eyes to the tips of my toes, that you can always read by the light of my smile.
It's strange to put such a wish out into the universe, but I'm hoping it's like a wind-blown dandelion. That the seeds go skipping across the sky and spread even more happiness than when they stay safe in one little corner of the world.