"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Girl... {A letter to a Younger Me}

Hello dear girl,

Oh, how your honeymoon glows on you.  You are aware that by some peoples standards you are too young for the vows that you've made.  But you aren't worried about their standards.  Not really.  You have steep enough ideals of your own.

Not many 19 year olds have laid on an operating table, wide awake, feeling the sharp stabbing pain of your own blood running wildly within you. Of watching the crash cart being rolled into your surgery theatre, and feeling your mind slowly hum, until you feel the release, of it all turn to peace.  They haven't had to hear the words, "There's a chance you might not make it through this operation."  And when you did?  You realized life was not yours to waste.

So you said 'yes' to that quiet boy, alone, on a mountain top.  You said yes, and you meant it.  A year and a half later, you got married with your bare feet in the soil that belonged to your grandfather.  As night settled in, you turned to take in the barn full of people who loved you as the fireflies twinkled their goodbyes down that long dirt road.  And you set off to the self-proclaimed, Happiest Place on Earth, to start your life together.

Nine years later, I have come back to find you still smiling by that castle.

We've grown, you and I.  And I do good to come back to the girl I was, because sometimes I've just simply forgotten.

I've forgotten the thrill of sliding between crisp white sheets next to this man.  The awkward awakening of it all.  How I couldn't sleep that first week from the newness of a sleeping rhythm competing with my own.  Every touch, a whisper of wonder, a newness opening before me.  It's hard for me to fall asleep not beside him now.  So stark the silence when he's not there.  Those touches, long since new, remind me that I am known.  That ever since his discovery of the bend of my neck, he still calls that place home.

I've forgotten the way my heart leaped in my chest when I turned the corner and heard him explain to a passerby, "I'm just waiting for my wife."  My wife... that title that you have reminded me with your wide grin, is an honor.  I will remember to once more wear his name with pride.

I remember stealing sidelong glances at the sparkle of my diamond ring as he held my hand ride after ride.  The band showing no nicks, or scratches of life.  Held together with the platinum band of promise and tomorrows.  We've come back here nine years later, neither of us are wearing our wedding rings.  Still finding each other's hands in the dark. I no longer need the outward signs of my commitment.  I wear these vows beneath my skin.  My hips have widened from carrying his very blood within my own, our commitment bound together into souls whispered into this world carrying your eyes and his smile.  And no, baby girl, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that he doesn't wear his.  You'll learn this as you watch his hands grip your own as you bring forth these babies, as he installs hardwood floors into your home, building into you board by board.  You will have watched these hands tense into tight fists as you've thrown acquisitions and fought hard, you both, to keep those vows together.  And when you watch those thick hands brush baby-fine strands of your daughter's hair out of her sleeping face, you will learn that your hands daily belong to one another.  No band can mark commitment - Your lives do.

I've expanded our heart. So much so, that sometimes I can't breath for the pain of our chest expanding, breaking open rib by rib to let this world in. I've let life wreck us good.  No, I see in your slightest of squint that you can hardly recognize the now me within you.  I've changed.  I've expanded, deepened, and carry nine years worth of worry, responsibility and a whole lot more love within me now.  I'm making some of our dreams come true, darling.  Dreams when I was first standing here as you, I was too afraid to dream.  It's ok to release your grip on control, to believe in yourself a little more wildly.  These years will teach you how, you'll see.

Thank you for meeting me here beside this castle once more, sweet one.  Of reminding me of all the tender newness I still hold within me.  How important it is to return.  No matter how the years run, I promise always to honor the girl within me.

I can tell you that he still takes us to the Happiest Place on Earth.  And that we're still learning how to hold on to promises and tomorrows, he and I.  I have long since grown tired of trying to predict the future, so for now, we're content with holding hands.  Taking snapshots of happiness as we find it together.  And while my lopsided smile carries the heaviness of a little more of life, and takes a little longer to unfurl... It's still there. Returning your youthful beam.  I will always carry you deep within.

{Linked with HeatherEmily 


  1. Lovely, Tara. Young, but not too young. True for one of my girls, as well. Blessings as you continue to celebrate, year upon year.

  2. This is very beautiful and profound. Marriage is a lot of work. And so is finding our young selves in our now selves. I really enjoyed this...

  3. You're writing is always beautiful and powerful. I always feel like you're speaking about my own life and experiences, through how well you convey your own!

  4. I love that I can hear your voice when I read your beautiful words.


  5. Enlargement is one of the most beautiful things about growing older. I love the way you embrace it.
    Because life might make much of the smallness of youth, but there's something so much richer in the ways "worry, responsibility and a whole lot more love" move in and crack us open wider, isn't there?

    I will make much of THAT. Right beside you, girl.

  6. Can I say that every year and decade gets more rich and beautiful than the last? It does. It's good to know a bit more about your story Tara, I didn't know you almost lost your life at such a young age. Happy Anniversary lovely!

  7. This is so beautiful - your writing, your relationship, your hearts. I loved this especially..."You will have watched these hands tense into tight fists as you've thrown acquisitions and fought hard, you both, to keep those vows together. And when you watch those thick hands brush baby-fine strands of your daughter's hair out of her sleeping face, you will learn that your hands daily belong to one another. No band can mark commitment - Your lives do." I understand this. Aren't we fortunate?

  8. This is so beautiful. You are so beautiful.
    It sounds like a fairy tale - very fitting for the Happiest Place on Earth. xoxo

  9. An Edwardian lady in full dress was a wonder to behold, and her preparations for viewing were awesome.silks saree

  10. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! "No band can mark commitment - Your lives do." Exactly.

  11. So beautiful and profound. I can relate - as I married young, had a family and these moments of keeping it all together. It's not always easy, but it's worth it!!!

  12. I echo all the comments about how lovely this reads. I'm closing in on 25 years of marriage and it pays to remember those first few years. In some ways I can't believe it's been that long.

  13. Lovely Tara. I feel that same way about my husband, and the young girl I was one. Newness is grand, but so is what's familiar. with age love grows and grows and grows. Just keeps getting deeper and wider. xx

  14. This is so lovely. We are the same, yet different as we travel through marriage and parenthood. That time to reconnect is so needed. I echo what Stephanie says. I love that I can hear your voice when I read your posts.

  15. Your descriptions of time with your hubby take me back to the beginnings of our marriage. I had forgotten how I couldn't sleep because he was sleeping next to me and now it is hard to sleep without him there! Thanks for the reminders of growing love and Congratulations.

  16. Wow, what a gifted writer you are! thank you so much for sharing this with us all... Indeed, it is important to return. And to expand our hearts.

  17. Tara,

    What fun to read this reminiscing through with you, and to savor again those first few weeks, months and years of married life, that getting used to another sleeping beside us, their breathing, discoveries, romance and day-to-day moments together.

    Married life is so worth it, so good, huh?

    Grinning with you, thinking of my own man,
    Jennifer Dougan

  18. oh girl, what a moving letter to yourself... you look so in love in that first picture. i miss the newness of it all too. but there's something so comforting about growing old together too... love you, e.

  19. This is such a lovely look back and reminder to yourself. It's hard to remember sometimes what that newness felt like, but it's important to try, isn't it?

  20. I have been married over thirty years and still feel the same things that you shared in your beautiful piece. What a lovely way to start the morning. Stopping by via #SITSBloggers. ~Take Care, Thea