When you find what you were never searching for...

Outside Myself

Outside Myself
Location
West Coast Body, East Coast Heart, California,
Birthday
January 19
Title
Mom/Provider
Company
Don't even have to knock...come on in.
Bio
I am now 47 and perfectly OK with that. I've been a mom for over 14 years now. I live a rather simple yet difficult life of trying to make sure my daughters are polite, well-educated and know they are loved beyond question. I do my best to give my family whatever they need. And I'm trying to take care of myself. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am infinitely trying to make people happy, make people laugh, make people feel good about themselves. I compliment often, but only with sincerity. I spend way too much time thinking about what might be the "right" thing to do in any given situation. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This is a personal journey for me. I have grown in ways I didn't know were possible. AND AN UPDATE: Don't forget your worth. This speaks to everyone, not just me. xoxoxo ~~~~ And thx, B. My heart was beginning to thaw but your beautiful friendship has melted it. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx FURTHER UPDATE: - B, darling, you have brought me love and peace. You sent the words, "Be gentle with yourself." I am able to do so only because you have been gentle with my heart. I love you, soul mate.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, it's been 18 months... So incredible to recall where I was and where your love has taken me...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx And now, two years have passed since those first simple PMs...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now, three...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAnd now FIVE!!! :-)

MY RECENT POSTS

JULY 3, 2010 11:00AM

Smithery & Outside Myself ~ THE FIRST YEAR ~ How it Happened

Rate: 42 Flag

 

Little Opie Cunningham! This was sweet OM; I haven't seen this musical since I was a kid; thanks for posting.

JUNE 28, 2009 10:01 PM 

 

 

 

I had been seeing Smithery's comments around OS in prior months, and he was SO wise and thoughtful and warm that I actually thought he was a GRANDPA! I had no idea he was the exact same age as I was!  

 

But these were his first public words to me on my post where I shared a snippet of my favorite musical "The Music Man" trying to cheer up OSers.

 

Then on July 1, 2009,  he commented on an Open Call I had done. He described, in precise detail, a part of his hand, the subject of my open call. I liked the simple precision of his answer and found it charming, as usual. I said this in my return comment on my post.

On July 2, at 2:45 pm eastern, he commented on Verbal Remedy's (Denise Montgomery) post "How I Lost 17 Lbs. Without Even Trying." I commented at 3:11 pm. It was a long comment thread so I didn't read any other comments before leaving mine and I never saw his. (He read mine...)

On July 3, I posted something very personal in many aspects. It was a poem describing my "Confession to the Ocean" which was painful to write.  It was also personal in that I had posted for the first time a tiny snippet of my singing.  I was terrified but I also had to purge my heart of these secrets and attempt to share my voice. His comment was short but kind.

 

But - also on July 3, 2009 (what we now consider our anniversary), Smithery innocently sent a PM thanking me for my return comment on my Open Call, and also told me that what I'd said on Verbal's post was "hilarious."

My PM reply (only a small part of it):

"Smithery, you just made my day. You're very welcome. I really meant it, that it was charming. I'm 42, but I should be 102; I have always been an "old soul" - very old-fashioned - and love the idea that someone isn't just clicking away at a computer...  Thank you for being here. I have noticed you as a quiet, steady presence. Encouraging, funny, smart, and just plain lovable...  I am looking forward to reading more of your posts and will play some catch-up with the older ones."  

 

His reply (a small part):

"So you're an old fashioned gal, or perhaps more accurately, you have an old soul. I like that. Yes, the east coast here has plenty to offer that is over the double century mark... I am glad you maintain your sense of humor, referring to your comment on Verbal's post of course. And the fact that you have daughters touched me as well. I have one of my own who is 9. She is my only child and I adore her. [I have two daughters - one who is the same age and another, one year younger, which was a wonderful coincindence.] PS~ It is funny you said you are 42 but that you should be 102. I am 42 and, given my penchant for the absurd, should probably be 12!"

 

In my next PM, I said something about the chair in his avatar.  He has since changed it, but it was actually NOT a chair, but an anvil, which I didn't see clearly (clearly!). And I was so embarrassed for my blunder, I wrote a note apologizing:

 

"Love your note and will respond later. But had to quickly point out what a MORON I am. I spend a good amount of time reading OS via my iPhone, so the pics are small; or on my laptop, where the photos are still rather small. I cannot believe I thought your avatar was a CHAIR, for crying out loud. Charming and dumb are quite a combo, eh? Yipes. I'm so embarrassed... Sorry. Will respond more tomorrow. Thank you again for writing."

 

His fantastic reply?

 

"No worries my dear. I was a bit confused by your interpretation of my avatar; me thinking it may have been a metaphor or something and I just wasn't getting it :)  Dumb? No. In need of glasses? Perhaps. Charming? Always."

 

I thought that was the kindest reply!  It would turn out to be a trend in our relationship - him never making me feel incompetent or stupid or unworthy.

 

And so we began a string of PMs until one day, not very long after we started corresponding, he told me his real name (Barry) and offered to give me his personal email address, indicating that I need not feel the pressure to reciprocate with my name (Angela) and email. Well, once I had his real name, let me tell you that I spent about .02 seconds Googling him!

I found his name quite a bit out there on the internet.  Turned out that he was quite successful in his company and his name was listed in many townships out in Pennsylvania and Delaware. A solid, professional man.

 

We struck up a great friendship - him in Pennsylvania and me in California. 

Angela      map    Barry 

 

It was something pleasant, easy, fun and, well, hilarious.

Within a week or so, he went to a car show with a friend and he started emailing me pictures with funny commentary.  I was just puttering around the house, doing dishes, watering the plants, doing laundry.  It was like I had a friend with me as I attended to the mundane duties of my day.

 

I sent him pictures of whatever I was doing, looking at, eating, as did he. 

We emailed songs we loved.

We shared quotes about life, love, anything.

We shared poetry.

He drew me pictures.

We told stupid jokes.  Really stupid.

We shared recipes and sent pictures of our cooking "in progress" and "after." (We both LOVE to cook and he is amazing in the kitchen!!)

He wrote me a haiku EVERY Thursday (and still does!). 

We had a "First Day of Autumn Apple Pie Bake-off!"

(it was a tie :)

We stayed connected in every possible way, EXCEPT talking on the phone. In fact, we didn't speak on the phone until about two weeks before we met for the first time in October (a trip well-documented by us both).

 

Our pies... 

my piehis pie

 

 

One night, I took my daughters to dinner at our favorite restaurant.  I emailed Barry to tell him and mentioned the restaurant name. He sent a message back saying that he'd looked it up online and it looked like a very nice place.  I sat down in the booth and had an idea! I quickly emailed him and said that if he got this message, to look at the menu and give me some suggestions as to what I should order.  And he did!  It was so fun to be at the restaurant "with" my friend! And what he chose was delicious: Philly Cheesesteak Spring Rolls (of course!) and Crab-Crusted Filet.  Oh yeah!

These are the pictures I took with my iPhone and emailed to him! 

pyum

I know the mushrooms don't make a very nice presentation but they were goooood! And we both love mushrooms, thank heavens! 

 

He sent me pictures of flowers. The first? Lilies!! Which, he had no idea at the time, are my favorite flowers! Amazing coincidence!

This is the picture he sent me, July 18, 2009 

lily 

 

 

 

As the extreme comfort and trust developed, we began to email about more personal aspects of our lives. There was always, always a level of understanding that we'd never experienced with anyone else, regardless of the subject we were tackling.

I told him about my slightly wacky family and life growing up, my beautiful children, my abusive marriage.  The scars I had, both inside and out.

I remember that as I told him some things, I would feel so small, so vulnerable, that I would simply sign my emails "me" - lowercase and all. I would hold my breath as I waited to see what he would say.

And he was always so full of compassion and care that it made it easier to tell him everything I wanted to.

 

He was the best friend I'd ever had.

 

We used to ask each other questions, both profound and mundane, and as I would read his answers, I would think of what a tragedy it was that someone like him wasn't loved the way he should be and further, that he was all the way in Pennsylvania. (Not that I was looking for a relationship!) We both appreciated the simple things in life and yet wanted to experience all it had to offer.  He should have had someone with which to share all of these things...


Although we were becoming wonderful friends, we knew we'd never meet.  In fact, he wrote a lovely post called "A Real Friend."  Yes, this was only July 25; you can see how quickly this friendship developed!

On August 3, I wrote a poem.  Somehow, I thought I was being completely elusive but as I read it later, I don't know how anyone could not see the struggle my heart was bearing.  The poem was called "The Waiting Hours" and in case you don't go to read it (although I hope you do, as it remains one of my favorite posts I've ever written), there is a line that says:

"There must be a balance.  The gracious friendship and the beckoning within a heart that beats with you inside of it."

 

There was something stirring that I was trying to deny, trying to push back.  It made no sense. He was there. I was here. My life was not at a point where any relationship would work.

 

And yet...

 

There was indeed something stirring, something neither one of us could deny. We shared our lives, exposed our souls.

 

And resisting love finally became impossible.

 

Despite our efforts to ignore our growing feelings and the obvious connection and emotional attraction, we fell in love. 

 

I remember one day last September, standing in my kitchen, and a thought simply came into my mind...I wasn't thinking about this, it literally was as if it were spoken inside of me:

"This is the last person you will ever love."

It shocked me, this tremendous revelation. I've never experienced something with that kind of clarity before.   

My Last Love.

 

  

 

Over the past year, we have sent over 9,000 emails (yes, you read that correctly) and hundreds of texts, and have spent countless hours over the phone. We see each other when we are able, but it is never often enough.

 

It may seem that being 3,000 miles apart would be an impossible way to live through a relationship, but we realize that it was actually that extreme distance that created the closeness we share.  The distance and the real belief that we would never meet, much less fall in love, allowed us to be who we really were without fear of displeasing the other.

We left it all outside ourselves and in holding nothing back, we pulled the other close. 

And we discovered something that can only be defined in these words by Emily Bronte:

"Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

us in CA 

Our matching rings, in Half Moon Bay, CA; May 2010 

 

 

 

 

Smithery's Anniversary Post is right over here... 

 

 

~1 year~ 

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Comments

Type your comment below:
Oh sweetheart...this is simply beautiful. One year and it has been the best year of my life. You have captured our year together perfectly. I cannot express well enough the value of what you've given me.

Thank you for this, baby. Thank you for you, my last love ~xoxoxo~
This makes me cry because I have a similar story. Met online 12 years ago and still together..
OMG this iis so wonderful
I love you guys.
Rated with hugs
A beautiful story, thanks for sharing. Happy anniversary
Congratulations! Wishing the both of you many wonderful years. R
you two are an inspiration and an example of how it can all go right sometimes. i'm thrilled that you decided to write this and share the tiny beginnings of your lovely story. oh, and that you haven't disappeared, dear angela.

ps: as i read this, i could *hear* you singing.
Awwwww, you two are the best! Happy anniversary! (with hugs for both)


P.S. 9,000 emails? DAMN!
Smithery ~ Darling, I'm so pleased that these words of our beginnings did it some amount of justice. So difficult to corral so many thoughts, emotions, the healing and the gifts...

You're welcome. And thank YOU for you, sweetheart. ~xoxoxo~
Touching and beautiful. A true modern love story - but...being a modern romance, which one of you is the vampire??? ;-P
Linda - How wonderful to know that you've experienced a similar gift in your life and that it has continued! You are SO deserving of that love, hun (I've recently read some earlier posts of yours but have not commented because I had no idea what to say...but you are amazing!).

Oryoki - Thanks for the good wishes!

Trudge - Thank you, I appreciate that. There are a lifetime of years left to enjoy...!

Femme - Your PM was very sweet, as is this comment. Of course, I had to post at the location of our first meeting. Kind of like going to dinner at the site of your first date. Miss you, doll.

Amy - Hi, hun! Yes, 9,000 - some short and some lengthy, but it is sometimes all we have. Thank goodness the man can communicate!!
Matt - Old-fashioned romance with modenr-day conveniences! Gosh, the vampire......hmm........ (not tellin'! ;-)
OM and Smithery, the perfect combo! You make me all happy inside. You encourage others to love well. Meeting online has become the new first and second date! Us, too. Our 1st anniversary was in February and we didn't meet face to face until March!
Rated
Very nice, very romantic. Sounds like a screen play. How does it end or is this the way it continues? Anyway, if it is a big wedding, be sure and let us experience it through your blog. Happy Anniversary. R
All so wonderful my heart is truly singing. What a surprise to see Half Moon Bay, some of the happiest days of my youth were spent there. I hope the House of Doors is still standing, do you know? I was back at Thanksgiving but only went to La Honda. I think there is some special magic in that place. I see by his hand enfolding yours the magic is still there.
OMG....this is made entirely of win.

SO happy for you.

sooooooooooooooo happy for you.
Rainee - Another one of us in this amazing Club. I love that you had an anniversary and THEN met! Zowie! Best, best wishes and huge hugs to you!!

Sheila - Unfortunately, this is the way it must continue for now but believe me, there is only a "when" not an "if" for our future.

l'B - I dno't know if House of Doors is still there but I will look the next time I go. Sometimes I drive myself over the hill to the coast just so I can have a mocha like I did with Barry and walk the streets as we did. I love HMB and it and La Honda hold very special memories for me, too. Stunning area. Next time you come out here, let me know!

Persephone - Welcome! I am indeed the biggest winner of the grandest prize! Thanks for the happy words!
I wish you many, many more years of bliss! R-
Dave - Thanks a bunch!!
I adore both of you. Watching your love blossom restores my faith in all that is good. Wishing you both many more happy anniversaries!
Lisa - Awwww - we adore you, too! I'm so happy that what we have shared here on OS can bring some sunshine like that to you.
I always enjoy a romantic story! Thank you for sharing. In our grandparents time, romances were kept alive by writing letters, having to wait a much longer time to receive one. Emails and texts sure do shorten waiting period! I always enjoy a romantic story!
Congratulations--I loved reading your story.
Anne - Isn't that the truth! We can bemoan not being together as often as we wish were possible, but if I had to wait days or even weeks to receive correspondence from Barry, I would be beside myself. In the grand scheme of things, we really are quite lucky, huh?
Sophie - You snuck in! Thank you so much. I feel very, very lucky.
I had wondered how it happened. Thanks for the view.
I am so happy for you both, but you know that. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
Happy anniversary, a wonderful post, and i love the hands picture.
Angela, this is one of the most wonderful things I have read on OS and it all happened because of OS! When I signed on over two years ago I was only looking at the publishing platform aspect of the site but in 25 months I have seen many, many friendships develop, meet ups occur and now your very special story! Happy 1st Anniversary to you and Smithery!!
Mimetalker - It was all completely innocent and the pieces just fell into place. Thanks for even wondering. :-)

LL2 - I do know that. :-) And I can't wait until I read your similar story...

Bernadine - Thank you. Those rings hold very special meaning to us...

Designanator - I came to OS to read a story and never intended to post something. I just got pulled into the human stories here and now I am completely connected. Thanks for the good words!
Angela, this was WONDERFUL. I've been here since about August of last year and never really picked up on your whole story. i went back and read the posts you had linked and listened to your beautiful voice. I loved the line: "The distance and the real belief that we would never meet, much less fall in love, allowed us to be who we really were without fear of displeasing the other."
I think thats the key to happiness right there.
I love this place....maybe I'll put up and ad on OS for my own Smithery!
(ha) Congratulations to you both.
Trilogy - I am truly humbled and honored that you would actually go to the links and read them (I always know it's a long shot, but just in case...). It is quite a woven story and really impossible to describe in a post. I kept editing and adding and deleting and etc., etc... You're right, the key to happiness is being who you are and being loved for it. I've never had that before and I'm so grateful that I do now. Thank you again, honey.
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

Just a reminder that the revised Open Salon
Terms Of Service states, that if you have a child together, even if the child is a boy, you must name the child Joan Walsh.

Hope this doesn't complicate things.

{[R]}
Cindy - Yes, I know you personally understand so much of this. Not only your own miraculous story with Will but the "why" of why we aren't on the same coast now. We often speak about that "someday" and how amazing it will be to just be together for the everyday things. I know it will be worth the wait and believe me, stories like yours continue to fuel that fire. Thanks for being that sister for us. :-)

Leepin' Larry - I just laughed right out loud! I can't wait for Barry to read that! Luckily, however, we will not be adding any new OSers to the site. After all, what if they became far more clever commenters than we are?! (But likely not as clever as you!) Thanks for the big grins.
Happy Anniversary! A delightful post! You two both have me yearning for the real thing in my own world. Also, did Smithery make the rings?
Smithery looks the dark mystery man, while you look an angel, as I've surmised. Wonderful to know you both here on OS, and to follow your brief glimpses into a life renewed by the real thing.
*raising a glass* Cheers, you two!! And may there be many other times all may gather to celebrate this union you've forged.
Blessings.
R for real thing

P.S. Which pie is whose?
@Matt: perhaps your emoticon might look like the following?

:-[ Not a happy looking vampire, but with fangs, who smiles all that often in the open?
PW - Hiiii honeeeeeeyyyy!!! Actually he did not make the rings but they are very special because they match. We bought them in New Hope, PA, and in French they say, "I love and I hope." I wrote a post called Smithery & Outside Myself Find Hope which explains it. In fact, because we had to order the rings and Barry shipped me mine, we hadn't seen them together until we saw each other in May, when we took the picture. Thank you for the lovely toast, my dear! And oh, the top pie is mine and Barry's is the one below.

And I love your idea for Matt. :-)
By the way, PW, my favorite picture of us was on Smithery's "Hearts Afire" Valentine's Day post. Our very first picture together. :-)
Heading to his "Hearts Afire" post!
It seems a LONG way away from your first post at OS and I am so glad that you have found true love. I wish you both much happiness.
Read it.
Loved it.
Rated it!!!!
Happy anniversary to two very, very lovely people!
PW - Sorty to make you do some legwork - I have no idea how to add a link within my comments. Looks like I've only learned so much at my year-plus here. :-) And thanks for reading it!

Emma - From my fist post until now, I certainly never could have imagined these kinds of changes in my life. Never saw them coming...

AHP - Thanks so much!
"Love, soft as an easy chair". I love that line and you two seem to fit together so well. Happy Anniversary!
Scanner - Waaaaay better than "Love, soft as an easy anvil" . . . Thanks for the sweet thoughts, Scanner. It's a lovely day here.
Lovely - all of this - for both of you.
Beautiful love story, great pictures..Happy Anniversary!
Thanks for sharing.
anna1liese - We are both wearing big smiles today, feeling that life is indeed very lovely. Thank you.

Bette - Thanks for being here. There were literally thousands of pictures to choose from and it was simply crazy-making to narrow it down. I'm glad you liked the ones I settled on.
read and rated. Not much else to add.
This is so beautiful. My heart is going tha-thump, tha-thump because I am a hopeless romantic. One question: does anyone have the rights to the screenplay yet?

Lezlie
heartwarming and soul-lifting. you are two lovely people.
3,000 miles, emails, texts and marathon phone conversations, how I know about those. How wonderful it is when you find your last love. So cool you two... so cool!
This is truly a treasure that you both have found.
HB - You know, I say that a LOT to Barry...

Sheep - When it comes to you, that's more than enough, hun.

Lezlie - We're hopeless romantics, too, and in fact, Barry more so than I. Hmmm...screenplay...have your peeps call my peeps...

diana - I'm so glad you're here. And thank you for those adjectives; that makes me happy. Hugs to you.

Chuck - I kinda figured you'd understand this. :-)

Happy - Gosh, do you have that right. Such a treasure...yes...
Happy anniversary you two! What a lovely story. And many, many more. Love and kisses. ~~RR~~
Fusun - Hello, beautiful! Thanks for the happy wishes - it's been a heart-happy day! Love and kisses right back to you!
So positive and sweet. Sigh.... Just NICE. R
The quote from Emily Bronte - "Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same." - could not have been more perfect to describe what you and Smithery have found ...

Beautiful, perfect love!

I am so very, very happy for both of you!
I wanted to read this beautiful post again, sweetheart. Thank you...
Angela: Thanks for this love story. I've wondered a few times how it began, and now I know. I think that the distance, though with emails and texts there is no absence, might be of a piece with how wonderfully this "last love" feels to you both. The distance slows things down and that is for the good of forever or last love. So sweet, so touching, so wonderful. Love you both, r
Such a beautiful story. I'm very much in favor of good love!
Awwwwww! This is so sweet... my hubby and I say to one another all the time, "I love you so much it's disgusting," and I--I--I--I think I just gagged a little. (heehee) Your love story is just exactly what we mean when we say that. We should all be so lucky to find a love as disgustingly sweet and true as this one! :)
This is, hands down, the best thing that has ever happened at OS. (Who says the Internet is a cold, impersonal place. It's what you make of it.) I am ecstatic for both of you.

With boundless love,
Smithery ~ Darling, I love it that you came back here to read it again (I know you've read it more than twice, of course), and it makes me so happy that you liked my version of our history. And, naturally, you're welcome, my love. ~xoxoxo~
Sorry for the delay in responding - the 4th had me involved in various and sundry things! :-)

Natalie - It feels like those things so I'm glad it comes through. Hugs.

Little Kate - Thank you for noticing that. I had actually found it on a card recently and had to buy it and sent it to Barry. It summed it up so perfectly.

Wendy - Just like Barry said, I love how you speak what's in your heart. You're right, distance slows things down in that you can't just rush into a big dating game, although I tell ya, love came very quickly to both of us. I get to feeling impatient, though, so sometimes I kinda shake the ol' fist at "distance" but then I realize I owe it a lot and I can't get that angry. :-) Thanks for sharing your sweet thoughts.

Owl - Yeah, I agree - good love is a pretty cool thing. :-)

She Blogs - That cracked me up! I can comletely see saying that to Barry and I love it that you and your husband have that sort of bond. You know, the kid that makes you sick. Hmmm...

Steve - You are so very, very nice to say that. I can say that besides my daughters, this is the best thing that's ever happened to me, so I'm so darn glad it translates across the words and lines of OS. I completely agree that anything is what you make of it and while one must be cautious of course, the internet need not be a cold and impersonal place. And I'm happy to hang out in this "place" if it has folks like you. Hugs, hun.
An important post indeed. Mazel Tov to you!!
Gigabiting - It was incredibly important to me to post this and celebrate within the walls of the house where we met. Thanks for celebrating with us!
Oh man! This is beautiful! I'm sorry I'm so late to read it...
Your story amazes me. If there was ever something "meant to be", this is it. I'm incredibly thrilled that you two found each other. It gives me hope that one day, I'll meet a man that I can love without fear, bitterness and cynicism left over from 20 years of a bad marriage. Bless you both.
j lynne - Never ever too late to be here, sweetheart. I'm so sorry to hear of the lengthy unhappiness...it astounds me how many of us have been in bad relationships and how ridiculously long we allow them to swallow us. I hope with all my heart that you find something warm, loving, and safe. Huge hugs to you.
this is just such a wonderful, beautiful story. thank you so much for sharing this. it's so nice to hear such a romantic history in a time when romance seems to be vastly undervalued. i love that you two share part of your lives with all of us here. i wish you both the very best!
Lovely. I know that voice you speak of. It's not to be denied. What a beautiful story. Thank you.
OM ... You and Smithery inspire us all! Your story is beautiful! But I can't wait until the chapter wherein the two of you are together in body as you both are in mind and spirit. This story needs that part where you wake each morning to see each other's smile. {{{R}}}
Angela, I am so late with this but want you to know how happy I am for both of you.

Monte
OM, I'm happy for you both. I read this and then Smithery's days ago and forgot to comment. I love your pies. Exchanging photos and everything else without, as you say, any pressure. It just proves my feeling that there are many advantages to no longer being twenty-somethings. If we stay brave, I think life will get better with each passing year. Congratulations to you both for the joy you have given and received.
I apologize once again for being offline. I have had a temporary job at my old office so between working and then spending every possible second with my girls, I haven't been on OS much. But I do read your comments from my iPhone - it's just virtually impossible to respond. Until now! :-)

lemonpulp - Barry is without a doubt the most romantic person I have ever met in my life. He blows me way out of the water - I can only hope to be 1/10th as romantic as he is. Thank you for reading what we share. That means so much to me.

Tonya - Gosh, and I tried to deny it...but it was just far greater than I knew was possible. I'm so happy to hear that you know that voice, too.

Rod.....Oh, Rod, I have the same wish that you do. To wake up to his smile every morning is something I think about throughout my day. Every day. We do know that it is only a matter of "when" and not "if" but the "when" is beyond our control right now. So, plane trips are all we have for now. As always, Rod, I am honored to have you reading our story. Big hugs.

Monet - Well, I'm late in responding (work/daughters, as explained above), but I am always so happy to see you here - I don't care when you show up! And thank you for the happy thoughts, hun. Blessings to you.

Seer - Your comment made me tear up... Yes, actually, Barry and I are both painfully aware that you can be face to face with someone for 15, 16, 17 years and more, and never have anything near what we have. We are so in tune with this miracle and while we do indeed live for our future together, we accept and treasure what we have today. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

Harriet - There really is something wonderful about not having the insecure 20-something mentality. Our communications were and are both very serious and completely hysterical. He has the best, most rounded personality I've ever encountered. While it took some bravery to let things go, I have never felt more safe in my life. Thanks so much for being here.
I just kinda adore you two.
Happy anniversary!! So beautifully written...
Stim - It's just kinda totally mutual. ;-)

Just thinking... - You are just so sweet. Really. And thank you, hun.