A gift from someone who thinks I'm "Red Hot"!
When Mark got home from work tonight, he handed me a white bag that was tied shut so tightly that I had to rip it to shreds to get it open. But when I found the card and gift inside, I immediately started crying.
During the two-and-a-half months that Mark has been staying with us, we've talked a lot about things that led to the end of our 17-year marriage (in August 2006). In fact, he was required to take a month-long counseling course with me as his coach, and in one of the chapters he had to explore his marriage and relationship with his ex ... me! We both learned a lot about the dynamics of our marriage during that unit.
One of the things I told Mark was that I always felt we were friends, in that I knew he loved, admired, and respected me and I could always be myself with him, but I never felt I was his best friend. He was too often willing to ditch me to party with his fellow addict-friends. After being married to Ed, my second husband--who told me a week before we were sealed in the temple (on our first anniversary in May 2011) that we could never be friends because he saw me as his competitor and my children as the enemy--I explained to Mark that I can't get married again unless I know I come first in my husband's heart, as his very best friend.
And so, as soon as I saw what he'd written on the card, my heart was touched and the tears began to flow. I know he means it. If he can only hold onto those feelings when temptations begin to intrude.
A sweet card and a gift candle.
The red M&Ms candle was touching, too, because he knows M&Ms are my most favorite candies. At first I thought he'd actually brought me a giant M&Ms candy, and I was a bit disappointed. I said, "You got me sugar?" He looked confused for a second, then said, "It's not sugar." I looked closer and saw that it was a scented candle, which he knew I'd use as a bookend, or rather a "DVD-end," to hold up DVDs that keep falling over on the shelf. I'd been looking for something like that to use.
And, if it had been sugary candy, I wouldn't have been disappointed in the gift. It's only that Mark was diagnosed two weeks ago with some serious health issues, and one of the doctor's recommendations was weight loss. So we both went seriously low-carb on Tuesday, July 7th. He's lost 7 lbs and I've lost 7.6 lbs in just six days, so I really didn't want us to be tempted and lose our momentum!
Some serious sweetness.
Mark had clearly spent some time finding just the right card for what he wanted to say. After I read it and cried some more, I gave him a hug and a kiss, saying, "I've been waiting for this moment since 1989!" That made him laugh.
Expressing himself doesn't come easily to Mark, especially in writing, so I will treasure this card (and envelope) forever. I still can't say whether our new relationship will become permanent, but Mark is a good man with a huge heart and I do love him for loving me and our kids. He is pretty awesome!