Brandon wrote this to me one day after Travis was born last year (8/26/09) as he made a quick trip to our house to shower and check on the cat while Travis and I were still in the hospital. I hope that I have moderately lived up to your amazing expectations. I cannot imagine being on this journey with anyone but you! I love you!
I love you more than words can say and have for nearly 10 years now. I am remiss in not telling you this enough, but I hope you know the depth of my love for you. Despite loving you so much for so long, my admiration for you has increased exponentially over the last day and a half. Instead of babbling to you in person through my tears and what I am certain would be incoherent speech, I felt the need to memorialize in print how much you mean to me.
I think you know that myself and two friends have been studying purpose in life (not "the purpose of life," but rather the pursuit each individual has in his or her own life that is often referred to as his or her "calling"). For example, William Wliberforce found it was his life's purpose to abolish the slave trade; Mother Teresa found that her purpose was to serve the poorest of poor and sickest of sick in India; and the list goes on of great people who accomplished much because of their pursuit of their life's purpose. We have read various authors on the subject, and I have personally spent a great deal of time examining my own purpose. Each time I undertake this exercise, I find that my answer is often multi-faceted and includes such things as defending the rule of law, promoting agriculture, serving my community and countless other "noble-sounding" pursuits. I, of course, believe that I am called to love God and my fellow man. But we all are. My examination of purpose is regarding the pursuits that are unique to me. The fact that my "calling" has so many facets is likely a sign that I have not yet discovered my truest calling. However, after a great deal of studying purpose and people of purpose, this much is crystal clear to me: you have found yours.
In all of our time together (which is a period greater than the average 6-year married couple, considering that we took virtually every class together in law school, while at the same time car pooling, living together, studying together, and being at each other's side almost day and night for three full years, and still car pooling daily since your job moved you to Fort Worth), I have never seen you do anything more naturally than when you hold, nurse, comfort, burp, and otherwise care for our new baby. I am truly in awe watching you as a mother. You are incredible. Some may dismiss this as motherly instinct, but what ever fraction of your skill that is derived from instinct is dwarfed in comparison to that which is derived from love. Your love for Travis is boundless. From the way you have endeavored to prepare our home for him for the past 38 weeks and 4 days to the way his name sounds when it crosses your lips, it is clear that nurturing Travis is your calling. All that you do, or have done for months now, is, and has been, driven by this purpose.
I can't even type this without tears streaming down my face, so I know I could not have said it clearly enough in person. I have often thanked God that you are my wife, but I am even more thankful to Him that you are the mother of my child. It was a joy to watch you in the early stages of labor. You were blissful when you realized that your water had broken, and the bliss continued well into the latest stages of labor. Your efforts during the pushing phase of labor were nothing short of heroic, and it was agonizing for me to watch helplessly from your side. And although your efforts were ultimately unfruitful, you gave everything you had physically, mentally, and emotionally to try to achieve your goal because the focus of your efforts centered on bringing Travis to us. I cannot think of a more emotional 2+ hours of my life than watching your face as you pushed with all of your might again, and again, and again for what seemed to me like an eternity. Even when the doctor decided to move delivery to the operating table, your focus was evident and fear was no where to be found. This is not because you are a fearless type, but because your focus was so intense that there was no room for such distractions.
I cannot imagine how much your efforts will intensify now that Travis is no longer a being spoken of in the abstract but is finally here for us to hold, touch and love in person. I look forward to witnessing it for the rest of my life.
I hope that I can be, as a husband and father, half of what you are as a wife and mother. I know that what ever my purpose is, it includes loving you with all of my might. And Travis too.
I love you.