Okay, let me take you back to 1992. That is the year Brad and I first met. We were in grade 10 (me) and grade 11 (him). He was dating my friend Beth at the time. The three of us were inseparable. We hung out before, during and after school. Whenever we could.
I was always at her house, and so was Brad. We went to parties and concerts together. Back then, we didn't spend too much time thinking of each other, but we enjoyed hanging out as a group.
We were the three musketeers for a while.
We did everything together.
A year and a half later, Brad and Beth broke up and I took off to Europe for a year of schooling. By the time I returned a year later, the two of them had graduated high school and the three of us lost touch all together. I don't think I have ever seen or talked to Beth again.
Maybe once in 18 years.
Fast forward to 18 years later (last year) when Brad and I meet again through school. This time it's our children's school. Both our daughters are in the same class in elementary school. Kind of ironic actually. It was easy to catch up like old friends, because in fact, that is what we were.
Brad and I transitioned easily from there because we had a common ground, and common history.
Today, after I got back from a walk, Brad surprised me. He had been working on something for a while, I knew because he was being very secretive. I walked into the bedroom and found 18 gifts wrapped and arranged on the bed. I was confused. I looked to him for answers.
"If we had fallen in love when we first met, these are all the Valentine's day gifts I would have given you" he says. I tear up.
I mean, how can I not?
Without opening any of the gifts, I know then and there that this is
the most thoughtful gift I have ever received in my life. Each gift is accompanied by a heart shaped piece of paper on which he wrote the year it represents.
18 gifts, all beautifully wrapped, one for each year we missed
And so it begins.
Gift 1 - For the year 1994 - A heart shaped chocolate on a stick.
Gift 2 - For the year 1995 - A gift certificate for a manicure
Gift 3 - For year 1996 - A gift certificate for a pedicure
Gift 4 - For year 1997 - Pajamas
Gift 5 - For year 1998 - Starbucks gift card
Gift 6 - For year 1999 - 2 pair of fleece socks
Gift 7 - For year 2000 - the year I gave birth to my first child - letters for all of us in our family (mine is S - for Shelly, that's what he calls me)
Gift 8 - For year 2001 - aroma therapy bath foam
Gift 9 - For year 2002 - a bottle of wine
Gift 10 - For year 2003 - another set of pajamas
Gift 11 - For year 2004 - black rain coat with hood
Gift 12 - For year 2005 - First book of the Twilight series came out
Gift 13 - For year 2006 - Second book of the Twilight series came out
Gift 14 - For year 2007 - Third book of the Twilight series came out
Gift 15 - For year 2008 - Fourth book of the Twilight series came out
Gift 16 - For year 2009 - an i phone cover
Gift 17 - For year 2010 - a framed picture of us
Gift 18 - For year 2011 - a wall plaque for our bedroom
By the time I finished opening my 18th gift, an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude came over me. It is moments like this that I know that no matter what my doctors have told me, I am surely the luckiest girl in the world.