Before I fell in love with you, we found ourselves in a close friendship neither one of us expected to have. I know you and I had some trouble getting along at first. We’re very different people, and very stubborn people, which is what made us lash out at each other for a while. It’s also what makes our relationship all the more special, all the more unique, and completely perfect. The many long hours we spent talking when we barely knew one another, before we were even friends, are among the happiest I have had with you. The trust that you demonstrated in me is something that I admire greatly, and I promise to place that same trust in you every day that we spend together.
As we stand here today I have been asked by those close to me to describe what I was feeling. Was I nervous? Excited? Having any second thoughts? As I tried to think of how to answer them, the only thought that came to mind was the one word that embodies our relationship: inevitability. I have no doubts, because it is as if since day one I knew we would be standing here today. I know you’ll make fun of me for that, and even though there was no way we could have known on day one that this would be our future, it is difficult for me to remember a time when you were not a part of me. A time when it wasn’t “Eric and Izzy.” With you I feel something new, something different, and I know that we have captured something unique. Something that is truly, unambiguously good.
How did I recognize the wonderful feeling of inevitability? The way I feel for you is not a serious of extreme highs and extreme lows. You give me a consistent, wonderful feeling of calm blissfulness. I felt this from our very first “Panera run,” and the Panera run we squeezed in yesterday. I feel it every time you dress up for a date and every time you spend the day in your PJs. I feel it every time you impress me with your incredible intelligence and teach me something new, and every time I pick on you for reciting The Fellowship of the Ring movie, word for word. I feel it every time I see you after you’ve worked 16 hours in one day, and every time you take a day off to binge-watch nerdy sci-fi TV shows. I feel it every time you run out of the hospital early with a smile on your face, and I feel it every time I come inside to get you because you’re a half hour late, because you got caught up talking to a patient and their family. You are the strongest, most determined, hardest-working person I know. Your ability and desire to always look for ways to serve others is one that I absolutely treasure, and I have learned so much from you over the years. I am so excited to keep learning from you in the future.
This consistent feeling of bliss is what I promise to give back to you every day. To be a steady force, guiding through good times and bad, sickness and health, and through the test of time. And every time I think we have met our capacity to remain in happiness, I promise to look to you and be reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. I love you so much, and I am honored to spend the rest of my days with you.
I never believed in love at first sight. When we first met in the basement of Detachment 355 at Boston University, neither of us were just swept off our feet at the sight of each other. You were intimidated by my overall indifference at the fact that we were both about to be yelled at, critiqued, and forced to run miles upon miles as we began our journeys with Air Force ROTC (we can blame it on my military upbringing). After talking with you for one minute, I had decided that you were too serious, too “gun-ho”, too loud, too opinionated, and I didn’t think that there was any way you were under the age of thirty.
If either of us bought into the idea that first, second, fifth, tenth, or forty-seventh impressions would make or break a romantic relationship, we wouldn’t be here. We did nothing but argue in each other’s presence for about 6 months. You needed excel spreadsheets for everything, and I operated in organized chaos. You were Type A and I was Type B. You were high strung and I was always telling you to chill out. You said what you were thinking no matter the consequences and I was always considering other’s feelings. You only drank decaf coffee and, who am I kidding, you still do and I STILL hate that.
Our disagreements were raw and frustrating, but we were remarkably open and honest with each other. Over time we saw that our differences allowed us to work incredibly well together in ROTC. I came to trust you explicitly. When tragedy struck my life soon after we could agree to call each other “friends,” we grew even closer. You became my constant, my rock, my best friend. If Eric was in a room, chances are Izzy was there too. You got coffee with me every day. You never made me feel weak even though you helped me through a fair share of breakdowns. You stayed up until 4 in the morning to talk to me just so I didn’t have to be alone. You pushed me to take care of myself and looked out for me in ways I wasn’t aware of until years later.
For a while I considered the year of 2013 to be the worst year of my life. But I can’t honestly say that, because I will always remember that year with a smile. 2013 was the year I learned who you, Eric, really are. Stubborn, rational, loud, and opinionated yes, but you are also kind, compassionate, empathetic, honest, sweet, funny, reliable, and you will always go out of your way to help others. You did what was best for me back then, even though I did NOT appreciate it at times. And suddenly, one day, I loved you.
“But only as friends,” I lied to myself.
The feelings I had been suppressing and ignoring for so long slapped me in the face late one night (or early one morning) as we sat in a dirty booth at our local IHOP. We ate waffles with too much whipped cream that the server absolutely spat in and laughed hysterically as I tried to teach you how to pronounce the Russian vocabulary. I saw a look in your eye as I finished imitating your sorry attempt at rolling your r’s and I choked on my coffee: we were more than friends. And the rest, they say, is history.
You might be wondering why I spent all this time rehashing our history for my vows, and you’re almost assuredly thinking “Why is she always so long winded when it comes to these things?” But every time I sat down to think about what to say, I couldn’t stop thinking about where we have been, what we have walked through together, and I am just continually blown away by how amazing it is that we ended up together, and how incandescently happy you make me. You are more than anything I hoped or prayed for. We didn’t have an immediate, mutual attraction; we had years of building the most fulfilling, incredible, beautiful relationship either of us have experienced. We aren’t a romanticized idea, we’re real. And I love it, I love every part of you, and every part of our story. I love that I can legitimately say that I am marrying my true best friend, my confidant, my supporter, my former enemy, and the love of my life.
I promise to provide the same support to you that you have so selflessly, so graciously given me over the years. I will lift you up when you doubt yourself, and be a steady source of comfort through all the turmoil that may come to our lives. I will continue to encourage you to find the silver lining in every situation. I will never stop adventuring with you, traveling with you, and ordering fruity drinks for you (because you’re too embarrassed to order them for yourself). I promise to be patient and kind, and choose to love you even if I am frustrated or disappointed in you. The Air Force may tell us where we will live, but my home will forever be with you. Eric, I love you more than I ever thought possible. I can’t wait to keep loving you through all the days of our lives together. But you have to stop calling me a myotonic goat.
7 • 11 • 15
3 Sentence Love Story
We met when we both began Air Force ROTC at Boston University as two career driven, independent, passionate individuals who did not care for one another one bit. Life had other plans for us however, as we fell in love and began our journey through life as a team. We are an Air Force couple, made up of a pilot and an EMT, with an unquenchable thirst for travel, adventure, margaritas, and making fun of each other.
**Side note: If you could see our vows, they captured who we are. Eric’s were neatly typed, folded, and prepared two weeks before our wedding. I wrote mine 3 hours before we got married, on the floor of a bathroom surrounded by my bridesmaids, eating Cheez-Its from the box and drinking champagne from the bottle. Mine were handwritten on pen and paper, which ended up getting doodled on and crumpled up. We kept both copies and framed them.