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Dear Caroline,

I know it’s been awhile. The move to Seattle really rocked my world. I’ve tried to write you a couple of times but it’s been so much, so overwhelming, that I end up not writing at all.

I miss you. I’ve missed you for so long.  It feels like it’s always been this way and sometimes I forget that it’s been two years. Like everything for us, it’s simultaneously always and just yesterday.

I can’t believe we just celebrated our third anniversary.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my last Orlando trip, my birthday at Disney, since you gave me my ring.

I can’t believe you left for Washington almost six months ago. The distance is hard. The time zones harder.

I can’t believe I flew to the West Coast for the first time in my life. Or that I’ve seen mountains. Really really big mountains. Or that the trees are so different.

I can’t believe we drank almost that whole bottle of Jack.

Sometime I’m going to have to write you and tell you all about that trip. How amazing it was.

I’ve been thinking about you all day. Thinking about the next chapter. What it will be like to have you home. Really home. Home in a way we’ve never been home before. I’m scared. Terrified. And so very excited. Even if it’s only for a little while. I just want the opportunity.

Then I started thinking about where I would be without you. I know I tell you all the time that I would be lost without you, but I don’t know that I’ve ever really explained to you what that means. I’ll try.

Without you I would be contemplating suicide. I was so unhappy. Unhappy with where I was in my life, unhappy with myself. There were times that I would look in the mirror and cry because I wasn’t sure how I ended up here. How I ended up married to a man again, trying so hard to make it okay. To be anything other than what I am. To make others comfortable.

Without you I would still not enjoy sex. I would lay there, feeling awkward, exposed, and used. Even by my husband. I would cry quietly when it was over, hating myself for doing it, going through the motions, wondering why I couldn’t enjoy it like everyone else. Wondering what was wrong with me.

Without you I wouldn’t be comfortable in my skin. Or in heels and dresses. So many years of mistrust and lies and devastation. I would still be trying to find my place, unwilling to be the pretty, feminine girl in case I draw too much of the wrong attention. The kind where no doesn’t mean no and stop means keep trying because I’ll give in eventually to prove a point to myself and society.

You gave me my life. You helped me learn to enjoy the most intimate moments two people can share. You helped me find myself.

Every day I learn more about what I like.  Sometimes you ask me questions and I don’t know the answer because no one’s ever asked me.

How do you thank someone for that? How do I thank you for saving my life?

How do I thank you for walking out to the table? For your smile, that grin that makes me melt? For that dark, dark hair that makes my hands ache to be in it? How do I thank you for having those drinks, letting your guard down, for letting me pick you up and take you out?

How do I thank you for not pulling away, for letting me kiss you and turning both of our lives upside down?

I still haven’t found the answer. But I intend to start by sharing your name, taking care of you for the rest of your life, and loving you for the rest of mine.

Love,

Stacy

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