This morning Luke and I went to the new Dunkin’ Donuts a couple of miles from our house. It was pretty busy. I guess it is free donut day. As we sat there eating our donuts and I sloppily dipped mine in my coffee, continuously bumped the table leg and laughed at Luke’s witty remarks about this and that I caught a glimpse of him drinking his coffee…and it hit me. He has this funny way of drinking his coffee while we’re talking. He sort of raises his eyebrows and looks over the edge of the cup so not to miss a second of what I am going to say. It took me back 20 years.
When we first met in Colorado Spring in June of 1995, Luke would meet me after I got off work at the mall. We’d go across the street to the Perkin’s Family Restaurant and he would order some sort of big breakfast meal with bacon and eggs and I would order a bread bowl salad. (In 1995 you can eat all the bread you want.) We would laugh and talk for hours and he would drink coffee. Eventually I would order a cup too. We got to know each other at that Perkins. We’d talk about our dreams and our futures…which honestly neither one of us could have really thought included the other. He would get that same look drinking his coffee and it was adorable. That’s not the only place we had coffee. The first time I’d ever had a Starbuck’s coffee was with Luke at the Starbuck’s in downtown Colorado Springs. We’d also go to the Barnes and Nobel on South Academy (yes, South) and we’d pick out books and magazines and look at them while we talked and drank our coffee. He was hilarious. He’s always been able to make me laugh that loud and boisterous laugh that always embarrasses me as soon as it comes out.
Time marched on as it always does and we went our separate ways.
When we finally ended up back together in 1998 we didn’t really “think” about going to get coffee in the same way you don’t “think” about brushing your teeth or putting on your shoes. You just get coffee, and so we did.
Then we had our first baby and for months Luke drank his coffee alone, forbidding me to drink caffeine.
But, time marched on and as I had more babies I drank my coffee any way.
Now we have no babies. We sleep through the night, even if we go to bed late (thank you teenagers) and wake up early (thank you 7 year old and a real job.) Every morning we drink our coffee. We laugh, we talk, we pray.
Today, at the Dunkin’ Donuts I saw my guy looking over at me from behind his cup of coffee and I realized that he looks at me exactly the same as if I was that bleach blond (natural of course) perfect body 18 year old he met 20 years ago. He looks at me like I am the love of his life. He looks at me with the same hope for the future with the same spark and joy that he has always had. He still makes me laugh. I am pretty sure the people in line thought I was some sort of weirdo. He’s just so funny it was making my eyes water. We’ve had tough times in our 17 years of marriage, we’ve had times where the last thing I wanted was to share a cup of coffee with him. We’ve had times where we were far away or in the same room but continents apart. We’ve had times where we’ve cried (OK I do most of the crying, OK OK all of the crying) we’ve had times when we just weren’t sure if this was going to last. But no matter what, we’ve always made it back to being in love. We’ve made it back to the laughter to the love and friendship that makes our relationship what it is.
So today as I met his eyes as he tipped his styrofoam cup my heart filled with love and memories. My eyes filled with happy tears. He of course laughed and asked why I was so emotional. I couldn’t tell him, I couldn’t get the words out. What I wanted to say was this:
I fell in love with you over a cup of coffee.
You have loved me every day, even when I have been hard to love. And Lord knows, sometimes, I am HARD to love.
You are a wonderful father and lover and friend.
You fill my heart with happiness and I am so glad, so overwhelmingly thankful for the place the Lord has brought us to in these last few months.
You may be loosing your hair (haha) and we’re not as thin as we once were. We’ve got wrinkles and grays and weird things that happen…but I want to get old with you still.
I want to see your eyes over your cup of coffee for the rest of my life.
We don’t have very many pictures of when we dated. This one was taken the summer of ’95 outside Luke’s dorm at Peterson AFB.
Some where near Cripple Creek, Colorado. Matt took this.
Our wedding day. May 23, 1998.
More recent pic of us from just a few years ago. One of my favorites.