You.

March 19th, 2017

Dear Ryan,

Last year I was in my own hell. Every day I woke up and immediately looked forward to the day being over, because it meant that I was that much closer to being done. Aside from the physical pain and losing all my hair, the mental and emotional exhaustion of the unknown was more toxic than any of the chemotherapy. After ten months of consistently smiling through the pain and protecting everyone around me from negativity, I was simply tired. Tired of having to take care of myself day in and day out. I will never forget the feeling I had after receiving my last treatment…pure relief. I could finally continue living my normal life.

Although my treatment was over, I knew that it would take some time to find true happiness in my everyday life. All I wanted was an external source of happiness that wasn’t my own doing. Someone to put a smile on my face when I needed it and take care of me when I am too tired to take care of myself. At that point, I knew I was okay on my own…but I wanted someone who could appreciate the person I am and find beauty in me when I can’t see it. And then came you.

You have shattered my idea of love into pieces of happiness that I never knew I could feel. The fact that we met when I was balder than a baby’s bottom demonstrates how easily you have seen through my flaws and appreciate the person I am. My physical identity was stripped out from under me, and I’ve consistently had to convince myself that hair doesn’t define who I am. On days when I look in the mirror and miss my long, beautiful hair… I think about you. Not one day has passed without you telling me how beautiful you think I am. You make me feel more special and beautiful than I’ve ever felt. Each time I’m with you its as if you strip all of the worries that are locked in my head away and remind me to enjoy the moment and take one day at a time.

There were times that my own reflection terrified me. I didn’t recognize myself without a follicle of hair on my entire body. I became very good at avoiding mirrors…but there is one thing I consistently did when I felt like my world was collapsing. In the moments when I felt like I was losing myself, I would stare at myself in the mirror until I could see past the ugliness and find the old me. The only way I could do this was by looking straight into my eyes…my eyes helped prove to me that I was still in there somewhere. They were the only part of my body that hadn’t changed. I’ve never told anyone that, and honestly never thought I would. The only reason why I’m telling you this now is because of your obsession with my eyes. Sometimes when I talk, I know you aren’t listening because you are literally lost in my eyes. It may sound crazy, but even if you had never said the words…I know that you love me. One of my favorite things about you is that ever since our first date, you have never looked at me differently….and I don’t think you ever will.

Before you…the future terrified me. Negative thoughts crept into my mind thinking about the chance of ever having to go through treatment again. Even though it is still a possibility that I avoid thinking about, it simply doesn’t matter anymore. Every time I’ve hinted at this fear, you have buried it with ease and reminded me that there is absolutely nothing I can do about my future. Everything will happen as it may, and regardless I will be okay. You will never truly understand how much I appreciate and cherish your view of the world. Out of everything you’ve taught me, seeing beauty in the future is a lesson I’ll hold onto for the rest of my life.

I love that I could write this letter for hours and hours and never get tired of thinking about all the reasons why I love you. If I could flaunt you to the world, I’d do it in a heartbeat just for everyone to know what it truly means to love someone. Everyone deserves a reality that is better than their dreams, and every girl deserves to be treated like the queen they are. Thank you for the smiles and the laughter, the sighs and happy tears, the kisses and hugs, the adventures, and most importantly… the crown on my bald little head.

Words aren’t enough,

Eileen

IMG_1493Love is this letter.

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