Many of you may be surprised to learn that Lovie and I have known each other since the Carter administration. We went to school together from 1980 until 1987 when Lovie, a year ahead of me, graduated and went off to college. For the better part of those seven years, I had a crush on her. But I also considered her to be out of my league, so during our school days, I remained nothing more than a distant and respectful admirer.
In 1988, it was my turn to graduate. I went to college at Vanderbilt, then, after earning my degree, I moved to Seattle to begin a ten-year career in the world of finance. Aside from a wedding we both attended in Telluride, Lovie and I would not spend any significant time together for nearly seventeen years. When our paths finally crossed again, Lovie was a single mom going through the final stages of a divorce, and I was a single moron, carrying on a dysfunctional relationship with someone ten years my junior.
I fell for Lovie almost immediately. Two years later, we were married.
With Valentine’s Day mere hours away, I’m giving Lovie a special shout-out by posting a poem I wrote for her, a poem that I read to her on March 3, 2006–a poem that served as my proposal to her.
Thank God she said yes. Why? Because I love Lovie. And here’s what I read to her on that cold night nearly four years ago to prove it…
* * *
this life of mine has taken turns and proved to have its spots
where things got tough and beat me up and left me with some thoughts.
like could i ever hope to find a more fulfilling place?
upon my quest, i prayed for strength, but all i lacked was faith.
but not the faith i have in God–His grace provides me that.
but faith that love like yours exists was something that i lacked.
eventually i told myself to thank my lucky stars
though deep inside, my soul believed no love would fill my heart.
and then you finally crossed my path as pretty as the days
of saddle oxfords, pleaded skirts, and all your high-school ways.
at first i held my guard up high to keep my heart on track.
because you seemed too good to me to ever love me back.
but now it’s finally safe to say my skeptic thoughts were wrong.
your love has come into my heart to sing the sweetest song.
because i thought i’d never find a girl as pure as you,
it’s time for you to hear the things i promise God i’ll do.
i promise God to hold you dear and keep you safe and sound,
to love both you and pookie, too, like nothing else around.
to put you two where you belong, the center of my life.
to make you live inside my heart as daughter and as wife.
to signify this vow i’ll make, i ask you now to have
this special, priceless, brilliant ring your mom got from your dad.
i’ll love you true, and promise you the pain is all behind.
so marry me, my baby, please, my lovie, caroline.