Stronger Every Day

It seems strange now looking back at my life. Sometimes I wonder if it all really happened. The stories of my past all seem like distant memories of someone else’s journey.

I want to share a story about my husband. When we first became a couple I couldn’t really believe it. It was a relationship that was mutual, it was intense and it was so good that I would cry from being happy. I could feel his love for me through the phone lines between Oregon and Minnesota. The energy vibrated through his words. He had been my best friend for eight years at this time and neither of us wanted to cross the boundary of friendship prior to this predestined day.

Of course I had the opportunity before to cross that boundary but was too afraid to mess up the best relationship I had ever had. A friendship that was full of respect. We had an instant connection from the very moment we met.

How we met is a crazy story in itself. I was married to my abusive first husband at the time. My little brother showed up on our doorstep after leaving his wife and he needed a place to stay for a while. No surprise, he had his mistress in tow. His wife’s best friend of course, cause isn’t it always that way in these types of stories. If I didn’t live it, I would think this was made up.

My brothers new squeeze asked if she could invite a friend over to the bonfire we were having that night. As I had been ‘trained’ really well to make people happy, of course I said yes.

Later that evening as we sat around the fire, watching the flames enclose the logs and hiss out steam, a man saunters around the corner of the house. I look up and we lock eyes. The new squeeze introduces her friend to my husband and I. The friend, my future husband, takes a seat and the conversations begin.

I don’t even remember a word we talked about that evening. I do recall that the conversation led into me inviting him over again. Something to do with my computer I had, if I remember correctly. He was a computer wizz and I was good at some things but had lots of questions about others. It was a common topic and the beginning of many more. That computer changed my life.

Eight years later, he shares that the minute our eyes met over that bonfire that his ‘heart took a side step’. His words, not mine. He wasn’t sure what that meant at the time. He wasn’t used to feeling something so intense that was not related to anger.

After that night our friendship grew. We could talk about anything. Not surprisingly, he was one of the people who assisted me when I was finally ready to get out of my abusive marriage. So many others could see that we loved each other. Apparently everyone else knew it before us. We were clueless. We even set each other up on dates with our friends. We did what best friends did. We wanted each other to be happy.

As I said before, I had the opportunity to cross the boundary of friendship to a relationship with him before. It happened about a year after I separated from my first husband. Years later I find out he was just checking to see if I was open to getting married again. In my abused mind I couldn’t do it. He meant to much to me as my best friend. I didn’t want to mess it up.

Today I see it differently but at that particular moment his friendship was way more important to me as it was. After my abusive first marriage it made perfect illogical sense.

Fast forward six years, after some more craziness in life (another story for another day). We had a long online Yahoo instant message conversation. We had many of these before. At the time, I was living in Oregon. I had been there about six months. He was still in Minnesota. During the chat I brought up the details about that missed opportunity with him.

The online conversation appeared to have come to an instant halt. Minutes ticked by and there was no response. Maybe I scared him away. My mind was racing. Type something. Make a joke. Just reply. Finally there is a flicker on the computer screen. He is writing something after what seemed like forever. He said “I didn’t know you ever thought about that.”

To which I replied “I think about it all the time.” That was it. The next chapter in our lives began that day, thousands of miles part. We typed for hours. Then the phone rang and we talked for hours. It was the beginning of becoming a couple. A couple months later I moved back to Minnesota.

He dedicated the song ‘Stronger’ by Billy Squier to me. It became our song. I included the lyrics here as it is these words that he wanted to make sure I heard from him. He doesn’t show this side of him lightly or often. I took each word into my heart and felt what he was sharing with me.

I will live for you, I want you to believe in me
‘Cause I believe in you, I know how strong the fire can be
I been searchin’ all my life to find a cause worth fightin’ for
When you came into my life, this feelin’ cuts right through
I feel it gettin’ stronger

Stronger everyday, stronger through the night
Stronger for the pain ’cause we made it all right
Stronger when we kiss, after every fight
There’s no stronger love than this, baby, hold on tight

I’ll be there for you, no matter what the odds will be
When I reach out for you, I know that you’ll be there for me
When I look upon my life, I see the ground I walked before
Tears have fallen like the rain, life changes we go through
They make us even stronger

Stronger everyday, stronger through the night
Stronger for the pain ’cause we made it all right
Stronger when we kiss, after every fight
There’s no stronger love than this, baby, baby
Stronger in your arms, stronger on my own
Stronger than the fear of bein’ alone

And if we live a thousand lifetimes
They could never tear us apart
Our dream can last forever
I feel the beat in my heart

Stronger in your arms, stronger on my own
Stronger than the fear of bein’ alone
Stronger when we kiss, after every fight
Stronger for the pain ’cause we made it all right

I’ll be there for you, you’ll be there for me
‘Stronger’, is the word and I know we’ll be
Stronger every day, stronger through the night
There’s no stronger love than this, baby, hold on tight

Seventeen years later we are still best friends. We are still in love with each other. We have been on some wild terrain together. We married ten years after our first meeting across the bonfire. We just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. He will always be my best friend and if we live a thousand lifetimes I don’t see that changing.

Of course, he annoys me sometimes too. 😉 But through it all we are stronger every day, there’s no stronger love than this.

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