It is the small things that I remember the most sometimes. Things that we take for granted in the day to day did not start that way. It is only over time that we become so used to awesome that we think it is commonplace. An example? Holding Marixa’s hand.

It all started one fateful April Fools day back in 1998. Is that when she held my hand for the first time? No. It is the day we met. I remember it clearly. I was at church volunteering with our college ministry. The college minister and I walked into the building and there she was.

He said, “Hey David, I’d like you to meet Marixa.” I was pleased to do so. She was very pretty and…very not interested in me apparently. She gave me a courtesy hello and proceeded to talk with the minister. Over the next couple of months she warmed up though.

In June of that year our college group took a trip to the Royal Gorge. It is just like it sounds. A whole bunch of folks under 25 took off for Colorado from Oklahoma. It just so happened that Marixa sat next to me in the church van. Me being an extrovert, I did what can natural…I started asking questions. We talked the entire way up there.

I didn’t realize at the time that I was getting to know the person who would be the best friend I have ever had in this life. I just knew she was really cool, really pretty, and seemed to like spending time with me.

Well, after staying at Jellystone National Park (an awesome campground full of Yogi Bear likenesses…the minister thought it was Yellowstone…), getting talked into going down level 4 and 5 rapids (we were only supposed to do the 2s and 3s…I fell out of the raft in a 5), and getting sick coming down the side of Pikes Peake (you mean the driver is not supposed to ride the breaks all the way down the mountainside?!)…we made it through and headed home. She sat next to me again.

Amazingly, the conversation continued on the way back. It was becoming very apparent that there was something cool happening between us. Even as we got tired we sat there and enjoyed each other’s company. That is when it happened…the van hit a bump and her hand landed on top of mine. Was it an accident? What was she going to do? This beautiful awesome woman was holding my hand!!

Yes, I really was that excited. And for good reason. My insides knew what my brain hadn’t figured out yet. I’d found my somebody. She was right there holding my hand. The world felt very right.

To this day, the world still feels right when she slips her hand in mine. It still thrills me. I didn’t realize it all those years ago, but holding her hand is what home feels like. It feels so good.

Like I said, it is the small things I am thankful for.

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