15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one.
When your Uncle Jake turned 15 in August 1995, he invited some of his friends over to spend the night. Your Daddy and your Uncle Michael were among that group of boys, and I caught Daddy looking at me several times. Whenever I looked up, he always seemed to be hovering nearby. He was nice, and he had an adorable smile.
I said to your Nana, “You know, if that Randall kid were just a little older, I wouldn’t mind getting to know him.”
“Well, you won’t always be 20 and 16, Rebecca,” she replied.
Gross. A younger man? What was she thinking?
Cut to 2007 and a random MySpace message from that same “Randall kid.” He had grown up, as had I. We messaged back and forth and ended up talking on the phone a handful of times. He was interesting and funny and not that unlike the sweet guy I remembered from 12 years earlier.
A few messages and phone conversations turned into seeing each other in person. One Sunday afternoon when Sarah and I had gone to Crossett to see Nana and Papa, I decided to stop by his parents’ house on the way out of town. Nana knew something was up.
“Are you going to stop by the Mixons when you leave here,” she asked.
“I might. How did you know?”
“You’re wearing makeup and actually dressed decent. You never do that on the weekends just to come here,” she said.
She was right. I did stop by, and his parents picked up Sarah and talked to her like she was one of their own. As I watched them with her and watched how your Daddy nervously fidgeted in his seat and beamed a sweet grin the whole time we were there, I began to realize how comfortable and natural it all seemed.
“This is definitely someone I need to spend time with,” I thought.
All signs pointed to the rightness of this relationship. We grew up in the same town on the same street in the same church. We were educated at the same schools by most of the same teachers. He and his brother were my brother’s friends in high school. His brother was married to a girl who also grew up in our church and was the sister of one of my high school friends. His parents and my parents had, for quite some time (and still do to this day), gone to dinner together just about every Thursday night. We knew the same people. We liked many of the same things. I knew his past, and he knew mine. For goodness sake – he and Uncle Jake sang together at my first wedding!
We had history. There was no question about that. But I didn’t feel ready to barrel into that territory. My relationship with Sarah’s biological donor had ended earlier that summer but had certainly not ended well, and I had lingering doubts about whether I wanted to be in another relationship. I had been married twice unsuccessfully and brought Sarah into the world with what should’ve been just my rebound guy. My ability to pick the right person was certainly questionable.
Not long after that, your Daddy said he had gotten me something. I hesitated. I didn’t want gifts which would just make me uncomfortable and make me feel like I had to get him something in return.
Are we really at the gift-giving stage, I wondered. He was adamant it was no big deal, so I gave in and was left wondering what it could possibly be.
The next weekend, Nana handed me a large envelope and said he had brought it to her at work and visited for a while. Even though she had initially been quite hesitant about our developing relationship, she had enjoyed her visit with him.
“He’s not a kid anymore,” she said. “He’s a grown man now.”
As I opened the envelope, I couldn’t imagine what “gift” I was about to pull out, and nothing could’ve prepared me for the breathtakingness of what I saw. He had taken a couple of pictures of Sarah from my MySpace page and hand-drawn them for me. There was one of her by herself and one of the two of us together.
For a few moments, I was oblivious to the chatter around me. I stared at these beautiful drawings and thought of the painstaking time and attention to detail that went into them. I looked up at Nana and back at the pages in my hand. I did that a few times, and she smiled and said something to the effect of, “That’s pretty special. He put a lot of work into that.”
All I could say was, “This is the best gift. EVER. Best. Gift. Ever. Seriously.”
I noticed my heart was beating quickly, and I felt a little flush. Nana smiled at me again, and I think at that moment she knew your Daddy had me. The realization was beginning to wash over me, too. That rapid heartbeat and those flush cheeks weren’t just shock – it was the crushing feeling of awesomeness you get when you realize you have true feelings for someone and that this is someone with whom you could spend some serious, Lifelong time.
As I look back at my Life up that point, I’m not sure I had ever felt that exact feeling. I had loved other people, of course, but not in this way. This was different. It was special, unique, real. It made me feel like I was on a sky-high pedestal and that I could see the future from my lofty perspective. It looked nice and comfortable and full of love and laughter. It was one of those surreal moments that, if depicted in a movie, would involve a camera spinning around the lead actress and romantic but triumphant music swelling in the background.
Several times that day I looked at Nana and said things like, “Wow,” “I can’t believe he did that” and “Best gift EVER.” I couldn’t stop thinking about your Daddy, and I have never stopped thinking about him since. That was the moment I knew that Randall kid had become the man who would be my one true love.
That gift in the fall of 2007 sparked the rockin’ awesomeness you know as our world today. A few sketches from that sweet man with the nervously shy but beaming smile were the catalyst for all the love and Life we have shared since that moment. He is the piece of my heart I didn’t know was missing. He is your Daddy, and he is my husband. He adopted Sarah and made her a Mixon, and we now have Aubrey and Zoey to complete our family.
I am so blessedly thankful to have Randall Mixon as my husband and can’t imagine what I can ever do to repay him for not taking “no” for an answer. It turned out to be the gift of marriage, family and love.
Best. Gift. EVER.