Well holy shit, how the heck do I start this one?!? Let me just state the big things and maybe I will explain them later. Basically, in late July I met the man of my dreams. It was love at first sight, literally. I always thought that was kind of bull shit, there is no way someone could just know they loved someone by just the first meeting. It was so far from anything I had ever personally experienced I believed there was no way that was actually real, but when it happened to me, I couldn’t do anything but lean in with an open heart.
His name is Jason and he is the best man I have ever known. We met in July and first saw each other over the counter of a Starbucks handout counter, me sitting on the floor yelling at a fridge and him smiling the most beautiful warm smile I have ever seen. His eyes, smile, and presence were instantly home. Our first date involved going for ice cream with his kids, Liam and Ceci, an unconventional first meeting, but one with eye contact that spoke more than words could and a deep desire to know each other more.
After our first phone call, I texted my mom and told her I had met the man I was going to marry. I just knew. We talked about our values, our life purpose, and outlook. He told me about his sobriety, divorce, losing everything and working hard to make a life of integrity, honesty and be the man of integrity he was meant to be. I was in love right there. Here is a man that I could rest my soul on, who I could build a future with. His integrity, his kindness, his emotional openness was everything I had been seeking in a partner.
During our second phone conversation, we booked Thanksgiving tickets to Switzerland. It was a trust moment. I am all in if you are all in, and we were both all in. A conversation a week later would reveal that we both had the thought of eloping on that trip. Two weeks in I had already bought my dress, and we had spent every day together, hanging out with his kids during the day and talking late into the night about everything we valued. That was what was different than anything I had ever experienced before, our values were deeply aligned, we both wanted the same things out of life, we’re going in the same direction and most importantly, we were both all in.
I know it sounds crazy but I think that is just life sometimes. When you know you just really know. I remember hearing that statement that when the right person comes along it will finally make sense why it never worked with anyone else, and for me, that is the truest statement I have ever heard. I have dated some nice guys in the past, but they all pale in comparison to this man now standing before me, and I plan on standing next to him for the rest of my life.
His kids were with us for 6 weeks before they left to go home to Wisconsin so we held off on going on a real first date, just the two of us until they had gone. Another reason I instantly fell in love with him, his deep commitment to his children. He is a great father, his kids are his world and he does everything in his power to make sure they are loved, cared for and feel valued.
On our first real date, we went on a four day trip to Balama beach, Shell beach, Yosemite and lone pine. He proposed to me 4 times on that trip wanting to propose to me in some of the most beautiful places in California. I enthusiastically said yes every time.
That was three months ago and in 19 days I will no longer be Erica Gibb. On Thanksgiving in the mountains of Switzerland, among the mountains and god, I will marry my best friend with all the gratitude there is in my being.