I had a dream last night.

I was with my RJ, driving along a country road.

He liked expensive cars, and we were riding in one that went especially fast. The farther we went, the faster he drove. I began getting anxious, nagging him to slow down, and telling him that it wasn’t safe to be going at such a high speed. Suddenly, a large ravine blocked our way on the road. Without hesitation, he sped up even faster and told me that he was going to jump the gap. We crashed and rolled in slow motion, and the car was completely totaled as we came to a stop on the other side of the ravine.

We were unharmed, but I was furious.

I screamed, ranted, and yelled at him. RJ stood there calmly, which exasperated me even further. I told him that he should have listened to me, and that his recklessness would end badly one day. I told him I would never ride in another car with him again.

And then he grinned.

It was the sheepish, boyish grin that I have MISSED so much. That smile was one he had used often on me. All of my frustration fell away, and somehow I was hugging him.

I started crying, and through my sobs told him how I miss him every day.  I told him that I would always love him, even though I am sometimes angry with him for leaving.

When the hug ended, I playfully punched him in the stomach and smiled back at him.

And then I woke up. My new husband was grimacing, and I realized that I had unknowingly punched him in my sleep.

This morning we laughed as I told him about my dream, and I apologized for hitting him. “Oops…wrong Ryan.” I said. And he laughed and kissed me on his way out to work.

Not many men would willingly choose a situation like ours.

Loving me means loving the scars and the wounds that come along with me…and I have plenty of those to show from the past couple of years.

Loving me means adopting my three little ones. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that I have the best little babies in the world, but three kids at once is just a lot for anyone to take on. And he has done it so beautifully.

Loving me means showing compassion, understanding, and patience. It means consoling a wife who is still grieving for her husband. It means trips to the cemetery, and countless prayers for “Daddy in Heaven” to be successful in his work on the other side. It means celebrating the birthday of the man that was before him, and being involved in helping my children to remember him daily.

Loving me means accepting the fact that I still dream about another man who I miss desperately, while understanding that my love for RJ takes nothing away from our current relationship.

It means putting aside jealousy or pride. It means selflessness. I honestly don’t know how he does it some days. Complicated doesn’t even begin to describe our situation, yet he insists that HE is the lucky one.

I love him so much for being the one who holds me when I cry, for bringing so much happiness and adventure into my life again, and for laughing with me when I punch the “wrong Ryan” in my sleep.

I love you Ryan. ❤