He’s the one you rewrote your rules for, because from the moment you met you didn’t need to slow down or fall back – he had already caught up. Because he looked at you in awe and wonder and quiet adoration and you felt unstoppable.
And when you let him peer into the crevices of your hopes and dreams and secrets, he crawled into that small, sacred space and smiled and held your hand.
Because his love spilled through the lens of the camera into the candid photos he took of you. Photos of you sleeping, reading, daydreaming, photos where you look the most like you.
Because of that night when you stopped along the Oregon Coast to admire a lighthouse, and the two of you stood along the edge of the world clinging onto the warmth of each other’s bodies; intertwined tightly as the wind tangled your hair and kissed your skin, as the glare of the lights and the beat of your hearts pulsated into the abyss.
He shifted your world and made his presence firm and known – he was never overbearing. He stood over you like a rock and loved you and admired you, silently. And in that silence he made you feel glorious. And in that silence was the loudest proclamation of love you have ever witnessed, even still.
Because sometimes you wonder if anyone will ever make you heart-shaped pancakes again.
He didn’t need to come to your rescue, because he believed in you enough to know that you could save yourself. He planted his roots into your life and you blossomed. You will look at the cherry blossom tattoo he bought for you years later and only then will you realize the depth of its significance.
Because he helped you carry your furniture out of the apartment when you left him, and still brought your mother boxes of organic vegetables when she was sick.
Because five years later he sent you “care packages” with baby eagle feathers and sand from the beaches in Haida Gwaii.
You watched his hands turn whatever they touched into art. He would reassemble and negotiate words, colors and patterns until they found some harmony amongst one another.
He left everything more beautiful than the way he found it, and this was especially true because he did that with everyone, and this was especially true because he did that with you.