I had a moment this past Monday, while watching you. You were staring at a turtle that had come curiously close to where we stood on the bridge looking over Mill Pond and you were explaining their ultimate defense mechanisms and regenerating organs (something like that.) It was quiet, otherwise– and something about your voice, the lake, the humidity, the time of day– that single, unique moment– made me remember the hot summer that we met a decade ago and how you made me feel. We get caught up in the planning of the rest of our lives so often that we forget to absorb the immediate and since that secret moment on Mill Pond– I have reflected on the things that I love most about you: Your laugh, your ability to tell a great story, your compassion for all living things, your handsome, kind face and your patience. Nothing could have prepared me ten years ago for how deeply I would love you.
So I guess my promise to you in your thirty fifth year of making the world a better place is that I will allow the turtles to remind me more often to stop and love you in the moment… For the wonderful man you constantly are.