The day was picturesque. Sun shining, clear blue skies as far as the eye could see. I sat in the park, dressed in my finest Sunday suit, and flowers in hand. I felt anxious, like the first day we met.

Sitting on the bench, I shook with nervousness. The young lady beside me, probably the same age you were when we first met, looked up from her book. Noticing my uneasy state, she asked, “special day?” I met her question with a nod and a smile of my own. “It’s the day I met my wife.”

The young lady then smiled with inquisition. “Yup, 15 years ago, just over there.” And I pointed over to a large, wise, old willow tree atop a hill. “We were just a couple kids back then.”

She stared into the distance. She didn’t say anything more. She folded shut her book, and stood to leave. As I pulled my gaze away from our tree, the young lady gave me a final smile before disappearing.

I stared at my phone, whose alert broke my quiet serenity. “Running a bit late. Be there soon.”

I remained, a little while longer. Just to wait, and watch the clouds float by. Time seemed to pause but as I checked my watch, I knew I had to get going.

Making my way to our spot, I couldn’t help but remember the day we met.

Unlike today, the skies were gloomy and eventually opened up as if to release a sorrow or pain. My umbrella had failed to hold its form from the storm. I desperately took shelter under the huge tree. Trying to regain my breath, there I found you, seeking safety from the same storm. And there, we sat, waiting out the storm together. Under this tree, our tree, is where I realized I had found my shelter from the storm. Not under the tree but by your side.

The winds whispered gently as the leaves of the willow tree swayed above me, and suddenly, another realization hit me in the present moment. I turned around to my delight.

There she was. The most beautiful person in the world. Those gorgeous hazel brown eyes sparkled. The beautiful white sun dress seemed to glisten in the light. I couldn’t help but start to grin. “My girl!” And within a heartbeat, I had the biggest smile painted on my face as my eyes admittedly teared up.

“I’m sorry I’m late.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

I walked forward, arms open wide. And there and then, I was greeted by the warmest embrace as I picked up my daughter.

“She wanted to stop and pick some flowers. Plus I thought you might enjoy the time alone to talk.”

“It’s alright. Thank you!”

We turned back towards our tree as my sister left us, waving goodbye.

We’d spend the rest of the day there, in our spot. Just waiting out the storm with you.

She’s growing up so fast now, but she’ll know who her mom is. I promise.

“I miss you! I love you.”

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