Twenty years ago today, the day after Valentine's Day, I crossed paths with a young woman who was smart and funny and beautiful. She had an unusual name, a Swedish name. "The first part sounds like Cher, as in Sonny and Cher. It's 'Cher'-stin," she informed me, her eyes twinkling and drawing me into a place I'd never leave.
We would talk and talk all night long, till the sun came up. We'd discuss music, our families, our dreams, our disappointments. Mostly we talked about the future.
And the future swept us up. We exchanged vows and, holy matrimony, here we are, still talking to each other too much, still plotting the future, two decades in.
I'm not sure what I'd amount to without her. She props me up, straightens me out and shakes sense into me. She adds fuel to my fire, and extinguishes the flames before I burn everything down. She makes fun of me when I deserve it, which is pretty much all the time. Mostly, she supports me, comforts me and enables me. I like to think I do the same for her.
Happy Day-After-Valentine's Day, Kjerstin Ecker Dillon.
It's been 20 years of little miracles, not to mention a couple of big ones, the ones doing their homework at the kitchen table.