new girl in town...
most days it seems like matthew and i have been together forever. it is hard to imagine my life without him. i always remember him being there, it is like he was always there. in everything i have done, and will do; he was, and is, and will be there.
he is my everything and i am his, and it is hard to remember days without each other. but there were days without each other. hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them.
i wasn't there when he got his new bike for his birthday, and took it for a spin across ice paved roads. i wasn't there when he and his friends ran an extension cord from the house to the pitched tent in the back yard so they could play video games. i wasn't there to see birthday cakes decorated with love from bouchers bakery. i wasnt there during pop warner games, or learning how to read. i wasnt there when he was young. i wasnt there when he was growing up.
i was there for cramming for exams, and car wrecks, and falling in love. i was there for finding a job, and staying up too late on the phone, and buying your first house. but i have only been in matthews life since his first day of college in 2003. he was 18.
there are some people who were in his life everyday before that. some friends have been in his life every day since the first day of first grade. some friends he has shared everything with since they were 5, sharing even a name. and with nearly 20 years of friendship with my matthew, it is no wonder i am still considered the new girl in town.
my few measly years is nothing compared to their 20 years of friendship. i wasn't there when he started first grade, and i didn't ride my bike around town with him everyday. i didn't go to italy with him, and i didn't draw him pictures of packers players for his birthday. and i can't go back in time, i can't make myself be there for all those moments i missed, i wasn't there. i am the new girl in town.
matthew had a life before me that i wasn't a part of, and that is hard to think about it. it's hard to imagine ever not being together, ever not being a part of his life. but i wasn't always his best friend. i wasn't always his melinda, and he wasn't always my matthew.
and you know what? i just realized this. literally yesterday in the car on the way back from wisconsin, i realized this. after 2 1/2 years of marriage, 4 1/2 years of being a couple, and 6 1/2 years of friendship, i realized. he had a life without me, a different life, a life that i changed.
and how strange that must be for his friends that were there before me. how strange for them to see him choose me, to choose omaha, to choose marriage and a simple life. how strange for him to not be there for their parties, for the changes in their own relationships and life. how strange for them to live their days still close, still connected, with matthew so far away.
i get it. i get why i was left on the outside for the last few years, why they didn't even ask when i didn't show up at the door with him, why eye contact and conversation with me seemed painful. hellos were bountiful, hugs always followed, a sore word about me never would have come from their mouths. i knew they didn't hate me, i knew they welcomed me, but with much hesitation. and now it makes sense, because i realized. because i was the one who took him away. i am the one who took their place. because i AM the new girl in town.
matthew is so blessed to have friends who love him so much. friends who love him through anything, through everything. friends who took in the new girl with caution, to make sure she was there because she loved him, to make sure she wasn't going to hurt him. friends who can make make him laugh til he cries, laughing about the past, and the present. friends with whom he can still dream with and plan the future with, friends who i know will be there for another 20 years.
thank you for taking care of matthew before i was in his life. you helped shape him and mold him and make him into the man that i fell in love with. thank you for loving him still, and for loving me too. thank you for being the kind of friend every boy would be lucky to have, and every boy's wife should be grateful is in her life. thank you for letting him go, and thank you for letting me in.