Saturday, September 13, 2008

Smiling at an old memory...

8 years ago. A week-night. Not too far from where I sit and type in this moment. A twenty-something man was filled with a flood of new emotions, balanced with a calm insight, that drew him to his keyboard. He started typing a letter to the woman who would turn out to live to be (and die as) his wife.

(I'm racking my brain to remember if she ever read this... I believe she did... but I can't say for sure. Either way, I know she died knowing the truth this note encapsulates. I found this tonight in an old archive, looking for a different file. It made me smile...)



I’m not sure if it’s isolation or clarity that drives me to write tonight. It’s probably a whole lot of both. I’m in Chicago on business, it’s 9 pm here in the hotel, and we just talked for about a half-hour, although it never seems as long as it really is when we talk. Sometimes people happen into your life with whom conversation is so natural and effortless that time is impotent. Hours are seconds and days are years. So it has been for me in the past several weeks with you.

Perhaps I should present my point first and spend the rest of this timeless evening, and evenings like this which are sure to come, attempting to describe to you—and to myself—the thoughts and emotions that go into such a letter as this. Perhaps such thoughts and emotions will prove one day to be foolish, in which case I hope to display some timely wisdom in deciding whether to ever let your eyes find these words. Regardless, the combined isolation and clarity of this night and this week drive my fingers to write.

My point is this: Everything I know of you is truly good. Beautiful. Everything I see in you is of God. A passion inside of me has been stirred, and I’m not sure what exactly it longs for, other than to experience you for another timeless hour. I want nothing more than to know you more than I do now, all the while being content and taking joy in what little of you I do already know.

What do I really know of you? Let me first start by saying that yes, since the first day I knew you—since that afternoon we sat by the lake and studied for the pending psychology exam—I have always found you to be a very attractive girl. I have tried to decide what feature it is that grabs my attention, and I’m sure it is your eyes. They have a certain beauty that I can’t my mind can’t quite grasp. They come alive when you talk. I remember running through a garden sprinkler in the yard when I was a boy. The summer sun would paint rainbows in the mist always just in front of me. I would run in circles trying to reach out and touch those little miracles, but their beauty was just always out of my grasp. So it is with your eyes.

But I’ve known your outward beauty for years. What is it that I’ve learned of you in these past weeks that has stirred this passion for you? You have a quiet but somehow passionate joy about you. You are a paradox to me, in this regard. You admit openly that you are somewhat of an introvert, but still your joy and life are impossible to disregard. In fact, they are contagious. You make me laugh. I make you laugh. We make us laugh. It’s not the silly kind of nonsensical laughter that always makes me feel foolish for ever having uttered as much as a giggle. It’s a freeing laugh. It’s as though I’d forgotten what laughter was until those moments when you draw it out of me.

I admire—nearly to the point of envy—your understanding and discernment. You never miss a thing. You read people and situations so well, and put thoughts into such wonderfully understandable words. You are a phenomenal listener and communicator.

Most of all, your pursuit of God in your every breath and heartbeat are inspirational. You’ve been an amazing encouragement to me over the past month or so, without your slightest awareness of the fact. Your very way of being encourages me to draw closer to God, growing a deeper desire to know Him more. You are one of the wisest people I know. And everything you do is permeated by this adorable humility that could only come as a result of a life of intense communion with the One Living God who has courted your soul since its creation.

I’ve been writing about the beauty I see in you for forty-five minutes, and I feel as though I haven’t even started. I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this is… What is it I am trying to say? What else is there to say except that I love every second I’m with you, whether it is spent in deep and spiritual conversation, nonsensical laughter, or just sharing a blanket, a bowl of popcorn, and a movie? I’m not sure when it started, but lately I’ve been noticing that this time of night regularly brings you into my thoughts and prayers. What does all that mean? What am I to do with it? Or a more difficult question: What difference would it make to your life or mine if you knew all of this?

I guess I’ll sleep on it.


Becky said...

Tyson, what a beautiful tribute to all that Leslie was and is. And someday, when T.J. is much older, perhaps it will help him to understand the love that you and his Mommy shared. Thank you for sharing it with us. My prayers continue to be with you and your sweet boy.

Tylertopia said...

What a beautiful letter and tribute. Definitely a wonderful moment to share with your little guy when he is ready...and another memory you can always count on to bring you smiles.:o)

eness said...

What a lucky woman...actually, both of you.

Susan McClements said...

I teach at Bethel College and your cousin Tasia asked me to pray for you and your son. After reading your loving tributes to your wife, I get a glimpse of the wonderful wife and mother Leslie was. I know you have many praying supporters but you have the task of raising TJ alone now. May God encircle you both with his loving kindness.