Dearest Rachel –

Got a late start on the day today. After getting Chompers fed and outside for a bit, I went to set him in the family room, where he’s clearly more comfortable staying. Ordinarily, I’d be expecting Daniel to be sleeping on the couch, as he has been ever since he realized the loft bed he wanted as a kid was not suitable for a six foot plus teenager (to which I never objected, as it was a darn sight easier to wake him for school or whatever from the couch than trying to get him out of that bed upstairs).

The couch was empty. Evidently, he was upstairs, probably in the bathroom. After calling upstairs and confirming this was the case, I sat down, did my best to make myself comfortable, and let the folks know I wouldn’t be in for a while.

Because someone needs to be with Chompers should he need our help, and Daniel won’t be down for quite some time.

I’d pin his love of soaking in the bathtub on you, honey. You were the one to always bathe him as a kid, and it was never in the shower. Of course, I wasn’t helping matters, as I never tried to teach him to use the shower – what, was I going to shower with him? You’re the only person I’d shower with. So he never bothered to try it, as far as I know.

Or if he did, he just preferred the tub. And, to be fair, if he were to spend the same amount of time in a shower as he did in that tub, I shudder to think of our water bill.

But I can’t get too upset. After all, we got together all thanks to a bathtub.

It’s funny, sometimes, to look back at the slightest changes that would have made all the difference. I was looking at the possibility of enrolling in a major state school, either in Illinois or Indiana, with pretty reputable business and accounting schools specifically. But there was that one recruiter who really wanted me to check out Wesleyan, insisting that I’d like it there.

I forget if there was a specific something that I could point to that truly won me over. The closest thing I can really settle on was probably the radio station, although once everything was said and done, I only was part of a show during my freshman and senior years. Still, at a big state school, that would have been reserved for communication majors, not some dilettante like myself, and I thought that was pretty cool.

(On the other hand, while I could get into the band at Wesleyan, I soon realized that my level of skill – even after four years of championship marching band experience in high school – didn’t mean squat. That persistent recruiter may have been playing things up when he compared the music and theatre programs to Julliard, but it was clearly meant for better-skilled or more dedicated folks than myself. When I learned that the first chair of my trombone section was neglecting his chemistry major in order to keep his position in the band, I knew I didn’t belong. Extra-curriculars are all well and good, but if your main studies suffer for them, then you’re riding the ragged edge of disaster.)

Meanwhile, your folks insisted that you not go to your hometown university. I doubt it’s as much that they thought so little of Western, but they probably figured if you stayed at home to go to college, you’d never leave the nest (I think that we ourselves may well have made such an error with regard to Daniel, actually, although I do appreciate his help around the house in our current situation). I forget which other universities you applied to – and I suppose I can’t ask you now – but when you took a tour of the female dorms at IWU, you noticed that they had at least one bathtub on each level.

And that sealed the deal for you.

Oddly enough, you actually didn’t stay in those dorms for but the first two years, but when Elizabeth transferred to the International House (and dragged you with her – not that you seemed to mind), the house had a tub, too, so it was all good.

I hope I have this story straight; Liz, if you could correct me if I’m wrong, I’d appreciate it.

So there it is. If Munsell and Ferguson Halls hadn’t had bathtubs, you’d never come to Wesleyan, I’d never have met you, we would never have gotten together, you would have never come up to the Chicago suburbs, and you would never have become the great blessing to me and everyone up here that you were. At the lowest points in my life, I found comfort in that, by bringing you up here, I did at least one thing good.

And all because of a bathtub in the dorms. Who’da thought it?

So let him take his time. I can wait.

And I can thank the little things that God put in our paths to bring us to each other. And I can thank you, too, for having taken that path.

Good night, honey. We’ll talk later.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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