*To regular readers, forgive me while I, Stephen Muff, commandeer this blog today. *
“They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that’s true. What they don’t tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.”
-Big Fish (2003)
It was the same week my grandfather passed away and the same day I had a run-in with the California Bar Exam, so I attribute this to Divine Mercy. I had already planned a Thanksgiving party with friends from a local young adult church group (called Faith and Ale). I didn’t feel very thankful, but nonetheless, I knew the show must go on.
Laurel came with her roommate, having never met me before. She was also dating somebody else, who is a good friend of mine now. Before I proceed, I’ll add this tidbit: my Thanksgiving party required people to dress up like pilgrims or Indians. We were both pilgrims.
She struck me the second I met her, and it’s true, time stopped. When it started again, it threw things into fast-forward and it has yet to slow down.
Anyway, months later, Laurel was no longer dating anyone. Many of us were at a prayer vigil and then went to the amazing Leatherby’s Family Creamery for lunch. We didn’t happen to sit next to each other (I deliberately sat next to her), but we did both order the same delicious tuna melt.
On my way home, I realized I missed a call from Laurel. I pulled off the freeway at the next exit and listened to the message.
“Hi Steve, it’s Laurel. I think we talked about going to the Crocker Art Museum – I don’t remember, but I think we did – anyway, my dad’s birthday is cancelled today because he’s sick and I’m free to go if you are.”
Pause. We never spoke of going to the Crocker. I wouldn’t lie, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity. I called her back.
“Hi Laurel, I’m still in Sacramento if you want to go. I’ll pick you up!”
I never said we spoke about the Crocker, but I wasn’t going to tell her we never did.
And that was our first non-date, despite me picking her up and paying.
Not long after, one of Laurel’s roommates heard Laurel say that she did not have a date for her brother’s wedding, so her roommate suggested me – in front of me.
About a week later, the day after my brother’s wedding, we went out on our first date to the Sacramento Music Festival.
A few months later, we both knew we were right for each other, and I asked her to be my bride.
As they said in Big Fish, time moved extra fast to catch up again. It’s 2015, we have a house and two kids. Laurel is my greatest support in life, helping me with chores and our two girls, but also encouraging me when I’m down, relieving me when I’m stressed, and praying for me – and God knows I need it.
Her stamina and perseverance amazes me. She’s not just watching a two-year old and a six-month old, but bringing one to ballet and the other to the doctor, both to the grocery, and so-forth. You know! If you read this blog, you can see what an amazing mother she is. I have a two-year-old that enjoys baking! That says enough.
All the things you see on here are not even half of what she does for me. She knit me a beautiful scarf, which I meant to take to work today, but was rushing out the door and forgot. Since one car is having trouble, Laurel drives me to and from the train station several times a week. She does this, managing two little ones at the same time. When I get home, dinner is virtually always ready or in process, and I can relax the best I can after a long day.
I do what I can to help her outside of going to work, but she does so much she rarely leaves anything for me to do (so I ask the blog readers to keep her accountable and leave something for me). With that said, most days I come home absolutely worn out, but she’s there to welcome me home. I cannot express how grateful I am to her and to God for putting her in my life.
How it could be anything other than Divine Providence that someone like me would end up with such an amazing person by his side?
I could go on and on and on, but I won’t – for now. All I want to do is say thank you to Laurel for helping me through hard times, guiding me in the dark, and supporting me when I lack the energy and strength to do it myself. These days, that’s every day.
I look forward to the day when I live closer to work and have no school or exams for which I am studying so that I may spend time with this amazing woman. At least her birthday, our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and my birthday are coming up and we can see each other more. I can’t wait!
Thank you, Laurel, for everything!