You found me. You found me bitter and you found me broken. I’m torn apart. Mangled, stretched and tangled like the messy bun that sits atop of my head. As you look my way I promptly turn away. Polished words march out of your mouth as a parade down Main Street and I struggle to decipher your charm. I attempt to detach myself from you but every time I try you pull me in closer. Your touch intensifies my mind as we stare into each other’s eyes and they remind me of Lily pads floating on the surface of a pool. You take the time to find the missing pieces I left on the path behind me and slowly start to assemble them back together. Parts of myself finally seem to fit back into the places where they once belonged. I start to feel again. My heart palpitates inside my throat and I can hear the beating in my ears. I was on my last breath, drowning until you reached down and pulled me back up. I can breathe again. The air is crisper than an apple and fresher than the morning dew. I can stand, I start to grow, and I’m blooming like the plethora of half finished flowers that descend down my arm. Your infectious smile puts me in a trance and I can’t control my own expressions. Instead of tears racing down my face and creeping into the small window of the corner of my mouth and tasting the sadness, I am now trying to conceal a grin that I can no longer hold back from. You’re as contagious as a virus and I don’t want or need the cure because you are the cure. I trust, and you show me truth. I have faith and you prove your faithfulness, I hold on tighter and you don’t let go, or even think about it. I question myself every step of the way and you trail directly behind me reassuring me that every step I take, is the right one. Everything feels true from the beginning and everything about you is so effortless. I keep speculating on when I’m going to open my eyes but I realize that this isn’t a delusion or a dream and all you did was awaken me up from the nightmare that I had forfeited myself into. I build and regain strength and study new normals that should have existed long before you, but never did. I don’t have to cut my feet walking on eggshells or think twice about what I say or who I say it to. I am no longer a prisoner in my own world. You set me free. I don’t feel defeated and I don’t feel failure. I can lay in bed with an unclouded mind with you right by my side. If I wake in the thick of the night I no longer panic, because you are still there. Your phone charges quietly by your side at 3AM with no interruption of silence. There is no threat of an imminent and inevitable relapse. Your pupils dilate with passion instead of poison. There’s love instead of lust. You give instead of greed. With all of the simplicity that confronts me I finally feel tranquility. This is the life I dreamt of capturing and thought only lived on in pictures or in the past. There is a difference between giving up and starting over and because new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings it’s necessary to close your eyes to old ends and open your heart to new starts. I decided to be brave enough to say goodbye to receive a new hello. I sit on the sidelines of my new life watching my babies adhere to you like barnacles to sea rocks or bees to honeysuckles and I finally feel complete. You’ve made us whole again and achieved the unimaginable. You may not see or or comprehend what you have done for me, or for us. I will remain forever grateful that god gave me you. In the midst of the madness, I have you. For all the wonderful in the world, I have you. For today and tomorrow, I have you; and as long as you let me I’ll love you today, I’ll love you tomorrow, and I’ll love you always.