Five years ago, my nervous system was on high alert. My hands were shaking and I had managed to down about a half a donut before I slipped my tuxedo onto my overheated body. I had tried to visit the tanning bed the day before... because, well, you know... and stayed a little too long under the lamps. Ahem.
However, when the sanctuary doors opened and the woman of my dreams started to walk down the isle towards me, my hands stopped shaking. My leg stopped wiggling. Every ounce of energy went into my smiling muscles and tear-generators. I thanked and praised God for the beauty that was walking my way, and since then a day hasn't gone by that I haven't repeated that ritual of praise and thanks.
Five years ago today, I married the most incredible girl on the planet. It has been nothing short of an adventure ever since.
In the past five years I have come to know that there isn't anything that my wife cannot do. I am constantly amazed at how kind, loving, encouraging and mesmerizingly talented she is. In about the span of two months, the girl had learned the guitar and was playing it on tour with me, on stage, in front of sometimes-thousands of people. I am constantly surprised by what she is capable of. Last time I was at her parent's house in Tulsa, I watched in amazement at the young Amber, all of 9 years old, playing piano, WITH AN ORCHESTRA.
The first time I saw her was when she was playing Rosemary in "How to Succeed in Business." She lit up the stage. I turned to the person sitting next to me and said, "Lord have mercy." From that moment on, I was always smitten with her. I didn't start dating her until three years after that, but I was always looking for her. In the halls, in choir, in the practice rooms at Baylor... I can still see her coming in late to Choir with her wet curly hair as she had obviously just woken up maybe a half an hour before.
I talked to her a few times through those years but I can only remember saying things that made little sense and thinking, "what in the heck did I just mumble?"
Then finally one day, I was asked to play for the Gospel group she was singing with. I internally said "Hallelujah" and soon after, I began to put together coherent sentences while talking to her and we became great friends.
But it was Harry Potter that did the trick.
When I toured with her Gospel group, Amber was in charge of calling the band and making sure we had the itenerary. One night she called me and I asked her how she was doing. She told me that she had picked up the first Harry Potter book and was reading it because the "chap" (a highly edited and re-typed word) she was dating had told her Harry Potter was straight from the Devil's pen. She told me that after reading it, she didn't see what the big deal was and that she was just loving the book. Then, for some reason, I asked her to read a little of it to me. I think it caught her off guard but she said "okay," with eternal cuteness and began to do so. She read about a half a chapter and I remember thinking... "I wish this woman would read to me every single night for the rest of my living days." It wasn't long after that... we were hot on the trail to the altar.
I love that girl of mine like I never thought I could love anyone. Sure, we get in fights every once in a while and we argue and we aren't perfect, (mostly me on the "not perfect" side) but these past five years have been the most exciting, blessed, and just downright happy days of my life. Every day she inspires me to be a better man and one of these days I might come close to deserving her, but I doubt it.
Happy anniversary to my incredible, captivating, wife.
Next stop: Kentucky.