It’s been more than 20 years since I met you. Yet, I still have the same feelings I did when I was a kid, including the fact that you somehow make me fearless and scared at the same time.
We met when I transferred to Connor School at 11 years old.
On my first day of school, I saw you and thought, “Oh, who is that?”
Right away, we started hanging out all the time: riding our bikes, going to the town pool and spending time at each other’s houses.
One day we went to the ball field in our town and there was an old train bridge with holes in it. It literally had holes in it, making it very dangerous. We both stood at the edge of this bridge and you told me if I crossed it and made it back to you, you would kiss me.
All of a sudden, I had no fear. I walked across that bridge and when I got to the other side, I got a little peck. That was our very first kiss.
While you made me brave, at times, you also made me nervous. When we graduated elementary school, I told my dad I needed to get the girl of my dreams a gift, but I didn’t know what to buy. Ultimately, I walked into school with a dozen roses and a wrapped up Biggie Smalls CD. I was so scared that you wouldn’t like the gifts and you would reject them, but you loved them both.
One time you even bought me a gift, a gold chain with a Nike symbol. Sabrina, I wore it with so much pride.
Unfortunately, it was not all good times for us. Even as kids, we went through struggles together. One day I rode my brand new bike to your house and I pulled it inside because it was raining. Then, your roof got struck by lightning and caught on fire. We all ran outside and I just held you. Family pictures stored in your attic burned. You were so sad and I kept holding you. Your family had to move to a nearby hotel while they fixed your house. I visited you often because I wanted to make sure you, your mom and your sister were OK.
Then, in middle school, your grandmother got sick. You, your family picked up and moved to Puerto Rico, where your grandmother lived, almost instantly.
I was devastated.
You were my best friend. You were my girlfriend.
Even back then, you were bubbly and made people smile. I think that’s why, even as a child, I was so attracted to you. You were such a nice person. You didn’t have a mean bone in your body.
As a child, I always pictured myself being with you. We had this natural chemistry. But when you moved, I didn’t see you for years and I went on with my life: playing sports, dating other girls and even having two children with another woman.
Even though we didn’t see each other or speak much, I thought about you all the time. You were such a big part of my childhood.
Four years ago, in our early 30s, I was thinking about you and decided to call you to say “Happy Birthday.”
By that time, you were living back in New York. My brother passed away a month prior and I was going through a tough time in my life. Maybe subconsciously, I wanted to feel the kindness and love you showed me as a kid.
After my little sister, who stayed in touch with you, told you the details for my brother’s funeral, you took a day off of work to support my family. I had no idea that you would be there, but as soon as I saw you, despite being so sad about my brother’s death, I felt that spark again instantly.
It wasn’t until two months later you decided to go on a date with me. I think you were apprehensive because so many years had gone by and you didn’t know if we were still compatible. You weren’t sure if our relationship was going to go anywhere. But our date was beautiful. I didn’t want it to end. Before we knew it, we were seeing each other every single day.
Even back then, you were bubbly and made people smile. I think that’s why even as a child I was so attracted to you. You were such a nice person.
Eventually, you got pregnant with our baby girl, Isabela. I was so excited. We had already loosely talked about getting married and having children, so when it came a little earlier than expected, I wasted no time, getting down on one knee and asking you to spend the rest of your life with me.
Sabrina, having you back in my life these last few years has made me not only believe in soul mates, but it has made me realize that you are mine. You balance me. You pick up where I lack and vice versa.
Your drive and your ambition are different. After graduating at the top of your class at New York University, you chose to be a teacher in the Bronx, where some kids are not so fortunate. You bought your students clothes and food and nurtured them when you didn’t have to do so.
You worked your way up to an assistant principal and soon you will be a principal. I admire how committed you are to what you do – so much so that it has rubbed off on me.
When I found out you were expecting, I went back to trade school and became an electrician. These last four years, you have pushed me to be a better man and a better person.
You have embraced my older children and even helped me improve my relationship with them.
Like any two people that spend every day together, there are times when we get mad at each other. But even when I am angry at you, I still always want to be with you.
I would do anything for you, as I feel the same way about you now as I did when we were 11.
I am so very proud to go through life by your side. I still want to spend all my time with you. I still want to hold you and make sure you are always OK.
Sabrina, I now understand why I am scared of you and fearless with you. It’s because now and always, I truly love you.
What scares me is letting you down. And what makes me fearless is knowing that when you are happy, nothing can hurt me.
We may grow, but my love for you will never change.
I love you.
Happy Valentine’s Day and happy almost birthday,
Respond to my letter. I want to hear from you. Tell me your story or react to mine.
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[…] enough, in the email was your letter to your late father, former NBA basketball star Anthony Mason, talking about your struggles after his death. You wrote […]
Sweet Lauren, I agree completely with the promise that Brian asked you to make. Frankly, it is the only way that I know to love; totally, completely, wholly and unconditionally. You deserve nothing less, nor does your future love.
Wow. What a truly moving and powerful story. We often take for granted the small gifts we give each other just by being present. I'm sad for the heartache. I'm glad you stayed and became. Who knows what little girl or boy will be attributing their life's purpose to some kindness you shared. Peace and Sunshine
You’re welcome Lauren looking forward to all the future stories :)
Thank you Tony. I appreciate all your support.
Thank you Tony. I appreciate all your support.
I’m sorry to hear about Brian but he was right you are too beautiful to not receive roses Lauren:)
[…] Here is why you need to stop being nice and start being loud […]
Thanks for this! So what movie set did you get on?
So nice Roger <3
Pat, Your letter touched me in a very profound way. It left me in tears in the middle of my work day. It made me want to share something with you. On a July morning in 2007 a police officer answered a 911 call I had made when my Mother went into cardiac arrest. Between that officer, my best friend and the fire fighters who showed up minutes later they were able to restart her heart, however at the hospital she passed away an hour later. At the end of his shift that officer stopped by my home to check on the situation and cried when I told him the unfortunate news I received only 4 hours prior. He tried to apologize to me. I looked at the anguish in his eyes and asked him directly what for? He described the ways he felt sorry. What I want to leave you with was my reply to him. I told him he had nothing to be sorry for because he answered the call in what was the darkest moment in my life. I told him that he was a hero regardless because it takes a special person to answer calls like that. You are a hero to people Pat. No one can ever take that away from you. I understand the process you're going through as I've been there myself and like you I still struggle with it when no one is looking. You aren't alone in this. I hope your healing process continues on and you can regain the happiness in this beautiful life. You'll always be a hero to those people, because you were there when the call came Best wishes Roger Chamberlain
Ruth, your letter moved me to tears. Once upon a time I was very closed off about the LGBT community but over a course of several years, I turned my fear into understanding and I actively stand with the community for their equal rights because it is the right thing to do.