Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. I took the day off to spend with our sweet little boy, Philip, Jr. So far, I've stared at his innocent little face amazed at how much he looks like my husband. I love that. I've also spent the morning thinking back to our crazy courtship and how we got started in our new life together five years ago. It went something like this.
ICQ (old school instant messaging) - Renie's IM strand to a friend in May of 2000
5/8/00 9:25 AM Hey, I'm afraid I have a huge crush on the dude at RMC that picked me
up from the airport for my interview. Too bad he's going to be in Memphis next year :(
McDee 5/8/00 9:29 AM How far is Memphis from Danville?
Renie 5/8/00 9:30 AM Too far, it's 3 hours from Nashville! We are emailing each other right now.
Phil was SO CUTE! And such a doll too.
McDee 5/8/00 2:22 PM Phil who?
Renie 5/8/00 2:25 PM THE GREEK DUDE
McDee 5/8/00 2:27 PM The one you have a crush on at RMC or the guy leaving the position or are they the same person?
Renie 5/8/00 2:28 PM tHE ONE i HAVE A CRUSH ON
McDee 5/8/00 2:30 PM So you are communicating with your crush... Is it possible that he has a
little crush on you? This sounds very interesting!
Renie 5/8/00 2:32 PM Maybe?! he emailed me before I even got back Macon. He's terrible cute and
quite charming. he went to Miss. State undergrad/grad. I told him we'd have to catch a Titans game together :)
McDee 5/8/00 2:35 PM This sounds awesome! Trust me when I tell you that the long distance thing is
possible. It will keep you from staying in Danville all the time, but also you'll get to know one another via email and phone, take your time and the time you spend together would be extra special. Do NOT count him out because of the distance! He sounds nice!
Renie 5/8/00 2:37 PM Slow down! I just met him once! Maybe this is just a professional contact he is considering! I wish though-he's really adorable.
Philip gave me an early anniversary gift last week. It was all the emails we exchanged during our early courtship that he saved. There were some fun moments to read back through. One in particular noted that the Dean of Student position was open at Birmingham-Southern College in the spring of 2000. I lamented that I was qualified but hoped that BSC would "boot" the new guy/woman in a few years to hire me (no offense to Alex Gresham who was hired after I said that!). My prediction was off by about two years but here we sit, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Moss and family, in Birmingham in the year 2006.
So these are the things I loved about my husband then and still do now:
He is so goofy Philip doesn't care about looking or acting cool in front of the guys. What you see is what you get. He is who he is - open, honest, vulnerable, and silly. I remember thinking, that's going to be a great quality when he is a daddy. I could not have imagined the joy it has brought me watching him interact with his son. I take life way too seriously. Philip keeps that in check.
Spiritually sound and strong. Without sharing my total testimony, suffice it to say that I was somewhat lost when Philip met me. I knew what my faith should be but I was searching for a denomination that would support it. That was a scary decision to make given my family's strong spiritual beliefs that differed from my own. That decision remains the most emotionally challenging decision in my life so far. I remember Philip giving me the Five Points of Calvinism and the Shorter (thankfully) Catechism. The lightbulb simply went off and the wash of peace that came over me I will never forget. There is so much more to this story but in a nutshell, Philip has been my spiritual head and source of encouragement ever since.
His smile. Anyone who knows Philip knows he constantly smiles. Nothing gets him down. He is Forrest Gump. He sees life as a spiritual journey and he has all the confidence and positive attitude to get him through it. I need that because my nature is to be cynical and pessimistic. He reminds me to smile, to stop and pause, to be less anxious.
He eyes. Large, dark brown, and focused. I remember those eyes from the first time we met in the Richmond, VA airport. I remember thinking "great guy, wrong place wrong time." Glad things worked out :)
He wears his heart on his sleeve. He did from day one. My favorite quote was when he brought up the possibility of him looking for a job in Lexington, KY to be closer to me, just weeks after we'd met! When I bristled at the speed of how quickly our relationship was progressing emotionally he shared some thoughts on why he was suggesting such a move and ended it with "I just think you are wonderful." I, with my female defenses up and ready for battle with yet another jerk (I was afterall, a magnet for jerks back then), felt my defenses drop. I melted into a pile of romantic goo. One Moss family reunion at Orange beach in June of 2000 and the rest was history.
There is so much more to Philip that I love but I'm afraid eblogger may have a limit on webspace so I'll stop there. Philip's favorite movie is Forrest Gump. I don't know why Philip persued me. He will say I persued him but technically, he called me first. Once he got to know me, I really don't know why he continued to pursue me. We couldn't have been more opposite. But as our family and friends met each of us, saw us together, people began to say things like "He balances you." And so, we joke that we are like Forrest and Jenny - "peas and carrots."
I thank God for my husband and all the joy that God has brought me through him. I didn't deserve Philip and I still don't. But by God's grace alone, he is my husband and I will cherish him always.