When I met her, I was more of a mess than I knew. I was a college dropout, convinced that I couldn’t learn. I was depressed in the kind of hopeless way that is even deeper than my usual morose. I very well may have run off into the woods and abandoned all relationships.
That’s when she saved my life.
Elise is the kind of person that lights up a room. She is beautiful and honest. She is talented but humble.
The first time I saw her was August 17th, 2003. I still can see her walking in, taking off her sun glasses, and completely ignoring me. She was so beautiful, and when I went to welcome her, her polite but short response could never have been enough for me.
But it wasn’t long until I had conned her into giving me her undeserved attention. Within a couple weeks we were dating. But, the idiot I was, I tried to break it off.
One night, when we were volunteering for a nonprofit in northern Minnesota, we went for a walk in the dark, down a gravel road. I had decided to break up with her due to our roles on the volunteer team. I was supposed to be team leader and it seemed like a poor idea to date one of the four other people with which I would spend the next year living out of a van.
So, I took her for a walk and told her my concerns. I said we had to break up. I figured that was it. I was not prepared for her response. She stopped, looked at me, and said “well, you can deny your feelings if you want to but I won’t deny mine.” And with that, we did not break up.
Ever since, Elise has saved me from myself hundreds of times.
From believing I could not over come my learning challenges. From letting myself become a doormat. From abandoning my relationships. From giving up on my dreams.
Today is her birthday and I could not be more grateful for her. She is amazing and I love her more than anything. She is my rock. She is my everything.
(PS – You can wish her a happy birthday by clicking on this link to her cool shop…)