"I can't remember what life was like without you," or
"I can't imagine life without you."
Or something similar. You know what I mean. While I find those things cryptically sweet, I've realized I really don't hold those same feelings. I will never forget my life before Tyler.
Tyler and I met on a "blind date" even though he saw me before the actual date and asked his roommate to switch dates with him because I looked too tall.
Months later, we went long-boarding one summer evening and I remember feeling unabashedly joyful. Laughing and playing and forgetting that there was anything to do in the world but those two things.
We spent almost all of the rest of that summer's nights meandering around town, either on foot or in his truck.
We went to the park at all hours of the day and night. We read books and played games. Chased and tackled each other. And then laid in the grass forever wishing it was our own park, on our own planet, in our own universe.
We went to the lake and sat on the dock until we had what felt like thousands of mosquito bites. We tried to use toothpaste as anti-itch cream and when that didn't work we rinsed off in the nearest sprinklers.
We bought gas station junk food and parked at the top of hills to eat and dream and watch tiny Provo glitter below us.
We drove through the mountains in the rain and the sunshine and the moonlight.
We laid in the back of his truck on blankets, in the mountains, watching the stars come out.
We laid in the cool grass listening to the wind and watching clouds. The minutes seemed to slack so we could stay that way a little longer.
I left notes on his truck and he surprised me at school and work with treats and the biggest smile.
It was like we couldn't sit still with each other. I wanted to make him laugh every second that we were together because it was the funnest thing to listen to.
I asked him questions that lead to long stories so that I could listen to him talk. I fell in love with the sound of his voice.
He put on my jeggings and let me take a picture.
He grew a mustache and wore blue sweatpants and spandex in public because I asked him to be Nacho Libre for Halloween.
When we were still, I felt like I couldn't be near him without touching him. I'd put my legs on his lap and my hand in his hand. Even when we drove I had my hand on his neck or his arm or his leg so that he didn't feel so far away.
Months later, Tyler asked me what I thought the first time he kissed me. Without a breath, I responded, "uh-oh." Because I knew that I never wanted to kiss anyone else for the rest of my life.
Being with Tyler actually lit up my life. Before him I still had happy moments, lots of them actually. But the lens through which I was living wasn't as wide or as bright.
And then I met Tyler. And I finally saw how dim my life was.
Imagine it's the middle of one of the hottest days of the year. A day you wake up already warm. The sun seems to penetrate any layer of clothing you wear and soaks into your skin and through to your bones. You walk through the grass and then you hear that familiar click and burst and your glance is directed downward as a sprinkler pops up and schick-schick-schick.
Tyler turned on the sprinklers in my life. He refreshed a living, but lacking 'me.'
I would never say that I can't imagine life without Tyler. I remember what it was like to live without him. I can never forget how small and gray my life was before him because I now get to live with his light. My two lives are incredibly different and I'm so hashtagblessed I have the one with him in it, forever.
Now please enjoy a couple of my favorite pictures of the light of my life.