How rare in life is it to find a true companion? Someone who agrees daily to travel the highs and lows of existence with you, refusing to turn back or away when tragedy and failure strike? I find myself in the minority, I have found that companion.
I met my wife when she was a clerk at a local bookstore, and I was a wandering, lanky buffoon with poor fashion sense (nothing has changed). I didn’t know her name, but her knitted owl hat and soft smile caused my attention to shift away from the books. I decided I would keep visiting on the off chance our smiles would someday turn to actual conversation, a plan I am proud to say paid off.
During one of my awkward visits to the bookstore, I noticed the mystery girl alone working a register. Having no measurable suave or bravery, I decided purchasing a book would be a legitimate (less terrifying) way to introduce myself. I grabbed a copy of “Surprised by Joy” and headed to the kiosk.
I guess I owe my marriage to C.S. Lewis.
Despite my eccentrically dated, hand-shake introduction, I somehow made an impression on her and even though it took a while to launch, we eventually became an item. (I knew we were a solid match on our first date when she gave me a handmade medallion, a replica paying homage to the yogurt lid Olympics from “The Office.”)
What I didn’t realize during the early days of our relationship, was that this woman would become not only my wife, but my confidant and best friend.
Most people who know me are unaware of my struggle with fairly severe anxiety, a problem that nearly destroyed my life a few months into our relationship. Rather than run from something so difficult, Brenna (the owl-hatted bookstore clerk) made the tough choice to stick it out and fight for me. I am so glad she did. I will never be perfect, and who I am now can’t erase past failings, but her love and genuine kindness have made me into a better man.
Brenna is the most beautiful soul I know. She has no enemies. She holds no grudges. She is my companion, and it is a joy every day to be her’s.- AB