I’ve read stories about love my entire life. I even tried to apply the concept in my early days of writing, but it was something, until recently, I could not honestly comprehend. I never had a longing for someone as I went about my day, knowing I would see them in a few short hours. I never woke up next to someone, smiling. I never felt comfortable in anyone’s presence being less than perfect. I never knew what love was until I met my husband (well, soon-to-be husband).
This is not quite our origin story. Rather the story of our past becoming parallel to our present the other night. (Cue the heart eye and/or nauseated hieroglyphics)
My husband is a huge fan of Dawes, so when they announced they were playing the Ryman just before his birthday, we knew we had to see them. It was a Sunday night and my lack of energy throughout the day felt worrisome. Yet, the second I heard the opening of “Things Happen” there was an instant shift. By the third song, I was trying to wipe tears that were rushing down my cheeks before anyone could notice. It was hard to explain in as eloquent of words as the lyrics we were hearing managed. I just felt—grateful.
This band has, unknowingly, been a big part of our relationship. The first time we kissed was after Jackson played the very album they were performing start to finish Sunday night. As we prolonged our goodbye, we sat on the floor of his living room listening to “A Little Bit of Everything” and I watched him digest every line of those lyrics. It would be a few more weeks before we would actually say the words, but I knew it then, sitting barefoot with our hands barely touching, that I was in love with him. There was a commitment to the permanence of forever and that moment signified a distinct divide: my life before him and my future with him. I finally understood all those stories I had read.
A year later, we performed “Never Gonna Say Goodbye” together in front of loved ones and strangers. We shared a very similar vulnerability with it; struggling with the intricacies of displaying such a sentimental moment in public. And yet, it became one of the most meaningful moments to us. So much so that including the song in our wedding ceremony became the first discussion in our planning process.
So, there I was, watching my husband’s favorite band and silently thanking them for of all the moments they had been there for. I thanked them with each tear of gratitude for the songs that scored our timeline. All the times they mirrored our honesty and pushed us further towards it. As I did, I could hear him singing along, shoes on and hands held tight this time, and I fell even more in love with him.