February 9, 2013 7:19:41 PM
David Creel -
Why is it I find the three words "I love you," the very ones that roll so easily off the tongue when thinking of others, the hardest to say to myself?
We have been together for 40 years, going on 41 now. The first heartbeat you heard was your mama's beating through her blouse in that old Chevy pickup truck as she held you in her arms. She was the first person who ever loved you. I witnessed firsthand the joys of your childhood: drinking water from a garden hose, building huts in the woods until it was too dark to see, the wind blowing your blonde hair as you sat on the hood of your daddy's green John Deere. Those were the good ole days.
Kindergarten was an adventure as you had your first crush on a little boy who will remain nameless. The other boys held him down, kicked him, and tugged at his hair for sport, but not you, David. You helped him up, shook the pine straw off his clothes, and made a new friend. Birthday parties were your favorite times as you got excited beyond belief at the simplest of things. Remember the little wind-up horse or the drum set?
Elementary school was a collection of loves, too. I remember your love for chocolate milk, pencils with the big top erasers, science fair projects, a game of Colored Eggs with the girls at recess, and being cast as 10 lords 'a leaping in the sixth-grade play. Your eyes would light up and you would smile from ear to ear when it was time to board the big yellow school bus number Twenty-One.
I loved you through high school, David, even when you didn't love yourself. Yes, deep down, I loved you. Your head was filled with self-doubt. Your soul was absent self-esteem. Others teased you because you were different, but they didn't know that you, too, would be special to someone one day. You found yourself late and came into your best self long after high school was over.
The first day of beauty school I was so happy for you because you had found your light. Life has been full of surprises for you, some good, some not so good. I'm the most proud of you for being yourself and letting your big heart shine brightly. I love you for giving of yourself to make others smile, for encouraging friends to laugh when it hurts sometimes, and especially for being there the past few years for your mama.
When life gives you lemons, you really do make lemonade. Of course, it's pink and with a twist. I know you finally found your great love, and that warms my heart. Nobody deserves to be in love more than you, but everybody deserves it just as much, even those who haven't realized it yet. I adore that on Valentine's Day you were brave enough to write yourself this love letter, just when you needed it most and hopefully when someone else out there, someone who isn't quite as far along on this particular journey, might see it and through it begin to realize the greatest love of all.
I love you always, Me.
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.