When you're down and out...When evening falls so hard; I will comfort you. I'll take your part. When darkness comes and pain is all around, like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down. -Simon & Garfunkle
It occurs to me, because it’s been pointed out, that the presentation of my story here is incomplete. I've left out a key figure - told a story without one of its leading characters. I've done this primarily because she is, quite simply, more than I have words to express.
I met Kyla for the first time when I was in the eighth grade. She was so cute. It was her eyes I noticed first, which is pretty remarkable for a 15 year old boy, anyway, she had brilliant green eyes, curly brown hair, a smile that could (and continues to) light up the darkest night, and this laugh that just makes you want to sing. She'll roll her eyes at this, but I've loved her since that night. I got to hang out with her again at a couple of different parties that summer, and just before school started back it happened - we danced. It was one of those awkward middle school dances, but I knew (the best you can at 15) that I'd never really be able to hold anyone else. I asked her out a couple weeks later, actually I don't think I did, I think she just hit me with a preemptive no. I spent the next few years totally alone, unable to enjoy the company of other girls. Ok, that's not entirely true.
Our senior year I started going to her church. We'd all go out after church and she and I would ride together or sit next to each other. I slowly began to remember how I felt that night we danced. It wasn't long before I was totally crazy about her again. One night after church everyone was going to a restaurant that I didn't care for so I decided to just go home. Kyla decided to go have sandwiches with me. We had grilled cheeses, and then made out. That was almost ten years ago.
Since then our stories have been the same, or are so interwoven it’s impossible to tell them apart. Everything that I've experienced, thought, or felt in the last decade she's been a part of. It’s difficult to know how to incorporate her into simple versions of my story because she has been so many different things. Kyla is my best friend. She has been girlfriend and fiancé - companion and playmate. She is my shelter - my home. She is a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. She is my sail and my anchor. She is salt and light. She is my daughter's mom and my lover. She gives me hope and allows me to dream. She has, literally, enabled me to fly. She loves without limit and gives with all that she is. She is perfectly created for and uniquely equipped to handle me. She is all that I am and all that I'll ever be. She makes me better - she's the reason I want to be. She is my wife - my flesh - my story.
I had Bridge Over Troubled Water played at our wedding primarily because dad liked it, but, even then, it was clear that it perfectly expresses the way my wife loves. Kyla is my bridge. People talk all the time about having someone to take the journey of life with - Kyla is more than who I go with, she is how I get there.