This is a public letter to my wife of 7 years, Emily Sockwell Batson. I know I fall down on the gift giving side of things when you always create something wonderfully sentimental. Here is my attempt and I just want the world to know.
The first day we met was at 3:00 am in the morning in the worst dive bar in almost all of America, The Upside Down Plaza in B’ham, AL. On that July 4th/5th over 9 years ago in the most unlikely place and the most unlikely time I found the most wonderful human I will ever encounter. You may have a completely different viewpoint as I had hair past my shoulders, a beard that had not been trimmed or shaven in months, was about 3 sheets to winds, and smoking cigarettes; I was quite a catch. Yet for some reason you saw through all those negatives and after turning me down for a walk around outside you asked me to breakfast and as it has been said once or twice, the rest is history(you actually understand the irony there because of your deep love of history). That is where I would like to continue, the history part.
There has never been a time since you have met me that I have ever come close to admitting I was anything near perfect, heck most of the time I am very honest about the negatives I bring to the table. But, I guess that is why some people are supposed to meet and be together. There are many arguments that monogamy is not natural for humans. The apex of most of those beliefs is along the lines of: it is unnatural, we are here to reproduce and create a better species. Most of those I have read seem to be written by men who need to ease their consciences about their inability to control their urges. All I have to say is that I have found the perfect person for my journey through this existence on earth. You have made me realize what love for another should be and the model is set for us to show our children.
As in every relationship you have, there are ups and downs, good days and bad days. The truly remarkable thing about meeting you is that even the bad days or downs still make me realize that my choice was well-made. The path I was following did not have a good outcome. Then in the summer of 2004 I found a very specific reason to change the way I had been living and it all revolves around you. You always said that I should never give up my bad habits because of you because I would revert to them if we did not work out, but I beg to differ. Picking up those bad habits were all my fault and you made me want to be a better man in almost every aspect of my personality and choices that I make. You have shown me a new side to this existence that I had never seen before. I found a best friend, lover, traveler, adventurer, reader, intellectual, mother, empathizer, comforter, yen to my yang, and the voice outside my head that tells me another logical side of the craziness that goes on inside my head. Em, you make me wake up every morning and be happy that I have one of the sweetest people on the planet to spend my whole life.
Since you know me so well, it is amazing that I guy like me, with such a dark and cynical outlook on the world around me, gets to basque in the wonderfulness and positivity that makes up your whole being. On so many different things day to day we disagree and we laugh about how one of us will choose inside and the other wants outside, one will choose music and the other needs silence, one loves big dogs and one loves small dogs, I am a nerd for Star Wars, sci-fi and fantasy, and Dr. Who and you are a nerd for crafting, creating, and office supplies-alas, our nerdinesses will never intersect. Yet, with everyone of our differences we have some core beliefs that make our relationship so very strong: 1) We both have a firm belief in a higher power and know that they are the reason for all that we have and how truly blessed we are and will ever be in this life. 2) We both care deeply about family and friends and would sacrifice almost all that we are to help another human in a time of need. 3) We both have an almost unhealthy passion to be parents and raise our children in a loving and structured home. 4) We both understand that neither one of us is perfect and mistakes are to be made, but we just have to learn from those errors. 5) and last is that we both realize that there is a love that you must work for, enjoy, and cherish everyday you are fortunate enough to have someone like you as a companion in this life.
You have blessed me with two amazing children, the amazing part comes from you and the rest is all my fault- I take credit where credit is due, thank you. You have given me an outlook on life that I would have never seen had it not been for your eyes and voice showing me a different way to interpret the world in which we live. You have shown me compassion when I do not deserve it. You have shown me love when I have been a horrible man. You have stood by my side when hard times have come. You have shown me kindness that I never knew existed in this world. You have shown in the over 9 years I have known you that there is so much out there and I cannot wait to see it all with you. You have blessed me with a loving and caring family and home. The things that I contribute to this partnership pale in comparison to the attributes you bring. Everyday that I know you, becomes a day in which I am becoming a better man. I hope most men can say that, but sadly I know that is not true. With you by my side I know that anything is possible. I am the dreamer and you are the realist who tethers me to the ground. If it were not for you I would rarely see the world through glasses that did see all the crazy things that I could do in this life. You help me to realize that not all my dreams should be obtained, but know when to push me to go after what is truly important.
I say all this to say this: Emily Sockwell Batson, you mean everything to me and I want all that care to know, to know. You have and continue to make me a better man, husband, father, and friend everyday that I know you. Growing old with you will be my pleasure and I hope that one day we will be able to agree on some of the simple things.
I love you with all that I am and all that I can become,