Today seems like an appropriate day to finally write down the best story I know. Not only because it was on this most-auspicious holiday that Strider and I met exactly 3 years ago, but also because I’ve felt like Eyeore all day with a rainy cloud following me around…so why not write about the person who makes me the happiest, ya know?
It was 2009 and I had handmade the coolest pirate costume ever (seriously, it was). Little did I know that a quiet freshman across campus was putting on a vest and a fedora to spend the night as John Dillinger. Most of the night I hung out at a house party just chilling with other senior friends (no freshies invited, obviously) and being cool. Much later, I decided to head home and was considering going to bed when a friend called. Apparently there was major drama at his place and he wanted to come over to get away from everything; I said no problem but told him that it was just me and that I wasn’t doing anything fun. He said that was fine and he was on his way. Just before hanging up, he added, “Oh, and I’m bringing someone. Bye!” Shortly thereafter, they arrived…and there he was: a freshman, in a fedora. And that, as they say, was it. We stayed up early into the morning talking about Harry Potter and I knew I was in trouble.
The next week, I played the “cool older girl card” and took him to a little-known bookstore and coffee shop in the next town over. A week later, I convinced him to get up at 3am to drive to a pier to watch a meteor shower in the absolutely frigid November air (lots of blankets to snuggle up with, naturally). The week after, we went to feed fish and, though he wouldn’t admit it till later, he realized he was in trouble too.
We became friends easily and effortlessly. He was sweet and goofy and I was silly and spontaneous. We started spending as much time together as possible (our friends definitely didn’t catch on at all, ha!). And by December we were a couple, both trying not to think about the fact that I was graduating in 5 months and that he would leave for summer to go home to PA. …We’ve been best friends ever since.
He is kind, handsome, funny, and has a knack for his plans never quite working out right. And most importantly, he loves God with his whole heart and has the most amazing family. Even though 3 years isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things, we’ve been through a lot during that time. I’ve grown to love him more than I thought I could ever love another person, and what’s more, is that he has loved me more than I ever though I could deserve (isn’t it cool how God works!).
We’ve had our bumps in the road but we both know that what we have is authentic and special. Plus, I’d be an idiot to let him go—seriously—once after I fell on a creek bed, got pretty hurt, and lost one of my favorite earrings, he went back and scrounged around in the dirt to find it a week later! The point is, I feel so incredibly blessed to love and be loved by this man. And I thank God every day that He knew (far more than I could have predicted) exactly the kind of person just right for me, someone who can make me laugh till I cry and hold me when I’m just crying.
I know this is a long post, but really good stories take time. He graduates this year (yay!) and even though we aren’t sure what’s going to happen next with grad school and such, I know that whatever our journey looks like from here, it can only be more amazing than it has been since that Halloween night 3 years ago.
About the nickname…I call him Strider because he is obsessed with Lord of the Rings (we’re not nerds at all *cough cough*) and, if you don’t know, Strider is the nickname of Aragorn, the son of the king and rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. He is a courageous leader, a fierce friend, and loyal to the woman he loves. And even when he doesn’t believe in himself, his people do, knowing that in time, he will become the great man and king he is destined to be. That’s how I feel about my Strider: he doesn’t always believe in himself as a leader or as a great man, but I do and I know he belongs to the one true King.
So to my Strider, these past 3 years have been wonderful and I can’t wait to celebrate our actual anniversary in a few weeks! And to everyone else, have a happy and safe Halloween!