Moving away from a place you've grown to love is never easy. As a little kid, it wasn't that big of a deal moving from place to place, but as I got older and made closer friendships and started dating, that's when it got hard.
But I was sort of used to it.
Rich, however, was not. He was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ with his family never far away. He was known all around town because his grandmother worked at the local True Value, so any trouble he got into always got back to her. He was also well liked, he had a lot of friends, some of whom he met in kindergarten. I can't say I know what that's like. Last year, I was surprised to get a Facebook request from a childhood friend that I hadn't seen in over 15 years.
Rich had family, friends, a familiar home, a church he loved, full ride scholarships, and dreams of being an officer in the Air Force.
He left it all behind...for me.
Imagine that. Giving up everything--all the plans you have for yourself, all your dreams, all your certainty--to be with the one you love. He did it.
Rich didn't bring much with him, just some clothes and a few sentimental items, only what he could fit into a suitcase. He left everything else to fly across the country where he had no job and no home.
It's crazy when you think about it. Or...brave.
Rich is the bravest most determined person I've ever met. When he got to small town Follansbee in West Virginia, he set out to find a job so that he could move into his own place within 3 months. And he did just that. He got a job at OfficeMax all those years ago, and he's worked his way up to now being a general manager for the highest volume Office Depot in Pittsburgh. The vice president of the company considers him a high potential employee. When Rich moved to small town Follansbee, no one knew him, but he was determined to find his own place and make a name for himself. He's now the education director and youth pastor at our church and well respected in our denominational association. When Rich moved to small town Follansbee, he had no college education. He is now getting ready to enter his master's program on a full ride scholarship.
Life didn't go in the direction he had planned for himself, but he faced uncertainty for love and our life is better for it. We got married a year after he made the biggest move. Now, it's nearly 11 years and 3 children later. I can't even imagine how different life would be if he hadn't taken the risk.
He is my one. My person. And I'm his...and he's proven that time and time again. He truly exemplifies what love is. I'll never deserve him, but I'm so thankful that I have him.