I Get to Love You

Monday, May 23, 2016
photo by Kiely Ro

I get to love you, it’s the best thing that I’ll ever do. I get to love you, it’s a promise I’m making to you. Whatever may come; your heart I will choose. Forever I’m yours, forever I do. 

It was a few days before Hunter left for his two year church mission and we were sitting outside in hammocks out in his parents backyard.
I knew I was going to wait for him, but we never really talked about what that really meant.
It was a conversation we had never addressed even though we had both thought about it over and over secretly in our minds full of marriage dreams.
"So you're going to write me... right?" Hunter asked.
"As often as I possibly can." I said with a smile.
"So what happens when you get home?" I asked without making eye contact.
"Well, I'll be going to school at BYU... and I mean hopefully I'll be married to you"
I smiled... "Hopefully is definitely right."

I honestly remember the day Hunter left like it was yesterday.
I cried more than I knew was possible and letting go from our last hug was harder than I can explain.
I watched the car drive away and just sat in mine, bawling, for a few minutes before even thinking straight. 
Then I saw the letter Hunter had slipped me... the first letter of many.
It was signed: "I love you Aleigh Joy. Always and Forever."

We had said "Always and Forever" often for years, but that time it hit me harder than before.
"I get to love him, for every single day, for the rest of forever." I remember thinking.
Forever is a hard word to comprehend, but I knew that was what I wanted.
The two years apart were hard, but remembering we had forever to look forward to made it just a little easier. 

When Hunter came home, everything fell right back into place.
I don't even remember it being the slightest bit awkward, it just felt so right.
We got engaged only one week later and I felt like I was floating I was so happy.
Only two months later, on March 1, 2014, we promised forever in the San Diego LDS temple. 
The next day we were on a plane to Utah to begin our life together. 
When Hunter carried me across the threshold I specifically remember thinking "this is just the beginning of forever" and feeling like the luckiest girl on earth.
Then, one week short of a year later we welcomed our baby girl into the world, a day I'll never ever forget.

I'll also never forget the Sunday after that...
I was hysterically crying in my husband's arms telling him I wasn't cut out to be a mother. 
He held me as I cried at least 30 more times as I faced a tough battle with PPD.
I saw him just minutes after he met with one of his coaches and they both decided his football career was at an end after being a star in high school.
We laughed and yelled into our pillows together at 3 in the morning when our baby had plans of staying up all night.
We sat in a tow truck after our car broke down for the third time 100 miles away from our home.
I squeezed his hand harder than I knew I had strength for during a long labor when the hospital refused to admit me.
We prayed together on our knees when our bank account showed that we probably wouldn't be buying groceries that week. 

We've fought and we've been angry, we've struggled and we've cried... 
But, somehow, I'm always reminded of the moment I became his bride and promised I would love him, forever. 

I was listening to the song, "I get to love you" the other day and was again taken back to that day, our wedding day, and literally started crying ugly tears upon hearing this line:
"They say love is a journey, I promise that I’ll never leave. When it’s too heavy to carry, remember this moment with me."

So Hunter, when the going gets tough... I promise to remember the feeling I had the moment we were married that rainy March day.
I'll remember the look you gave me after "kissing your bride."
I'll remember you whispering "you look gorgeous" in my ear during our first dance as husband and wife.
I'll remember how giddy we were as we left our reception.
And I'll always remember that I get to love you always and forever because choosing to love you through it all, is the best choice I'll ever make.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

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