Last week we found ourselves in the little, small-town grocery store near the plant where we work. It's the same small-town grocery store that I frequented when I lived down here, in the parish house. I love how quaint and friendly the store is, even if they don't carry hummus.
As we walked the aisles I looked at the list on my phone. Bryon pushed the cart and I checkmarked things off in my head. Bread, black olives, tomato soup, pickles, hamburger... oh yes, there it was: Tomato Soup. Somehow I had to get the soup into the cart without spoiling my own surprise to my husband. [Read about the first surprise HERE.]
It does sort of make it complicated, the fact that I can't eat Campbell's tomato soup anymore (gluten), and so if I put it into the cart it screams, HEY, YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TOMATOCCASION COMING UP! Therefore, I tucked it behind the snacks and bananas on the bottom rack of the cart.
Friday morning I reread my post from last year and one of the things that stood out to me was saying that I loved him more. Well, duh, Rachel. But I think it would be better-described as saying I love him differently than I did a year ago. Like, to his toes. I love the comfort of him, the smell of his security. I love his arms around me and his rough voice even when he's grumpy. I care about his grumpy in a way that is my own. We try very hard to live as one body and share everything ['For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' Gen 2:24] but that in and of itself is complicated.
I am grateful. It's already been four years - wow. It feels like the blink of an eye. There are days I mourn the fact that it took me 33 years to find Bryon Ray, though I know I wasn't ready until that exact moment and until I'd lived through all of my experiences. Still life feels so fleeting. I want to soak up all the time with him that I can.
Celebrating small things is one way to do that. Tomato Soup day will always put a flutter in my tummy. There is a heartbeat associated with it...It was the day that I decided to allow someone in again. It was the day that I greenlighted the hottie in the maintenance office yes, but I took charge of my happiness that day. I can hear Mr. Brightside in my head just thinking about it.
I'm so grateful. And I haven't looked back since.
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