I was 5 years old the first time I knew I’d fall in love and get married one day. I envisioned meeting you by the time I turned 25, having kids when we were 30 and maybe, most importantly, being the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
We’ve certainly come a long way. When I was diagnosed with autism at 4, my entire life changed. I went from a life of not knowing what was wrong and why I had limited speech to therapy appointments to help me become the man I am today. I now travel from state to state speaking on overcoming obstacles with autism, and you often travel to these events with me as my No. 1 fan in the audience.
I’m going to show you unconditional love in everything we do every day we’re together. I went from never wanting to be touched as a kid due to sensory overload to a life where I embrace affection. When we get into fights, I’m going to try to communicate as much as possible to understand your perspective. When I need alone time to wind down when I feel overload, I plan on telling you, too. And when our successes come, I’m always going to tell you how proud I am of you.
Our wedding day will be one of the happiest days of my life because you will be there by my side. When we talk about having kids, I will look toward my parents for advice and guidance based on their experiences with me. I want to grow to be the same dad that my dad was for me — there for me in good times and in bad with my chin held up high.
You see, love is something I’ve always wanted. It makes me feel anxious at times with a ton of butterflies in my stomach, but it’s a feeling that brings the best out of me. Something about it made me feel uneasy as a kid, especially when I was being bullied. One peer when I was in high school told me I would never find anyone to spend my life with because I was different. It hurt me to my core to hear that.
But I knew that would never be my life. I’ve had several girlfriends, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one than you. I knew it wasn’t a matter of if I’d find you one day, but when it would happen.
Thank you for embracing who I am, quirks and all, and for being the love I’ve been waiting for my entire life. What we have is a love that lives in serenity, and I wouldn’t ask for it any other way. I’ll always be thankful for you for that.
A version of this blog originally appeared on Kerrymagro.com here.