Thursday, August 23, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 174 - Epilogue

June 18, 2011
My Edward,
I'm taking a few minutes out of a totally, insanely crazy day to put my thoughts and feelings into words. I am sitting upstairs in Alice's old bedroom, which has become Bride Central. Everyone else is off doing various other things. My mom is actually out having an early lunch with Phil, Sue, and my dad, which just makes me laugh. It's the first time since my college graduation that my parents have spent any time together. I guess my wedding is as good a reason as any.
My wedding...
I almost have trouble believing it.
When I started this letter, I was reminded once again of why we chose this date. Today is one year to the day that we met face to face for the first time. A year ago, my future changed permanently – and I've never been happier about that fact. I knew the moment I fell in love with you that my life had been altered. Bella Swan as a person had been altered. Suddenly, I had someone that meant more to me than anyone, including myself. You became the center of my world. Of all the people in this world, you're the one I run to. You have taught me so much about life and love, and even through the times when darkness threatened my world, you were always the light. Before I met you, I thought I knew what love was, but until you stepped into my life, I knew nothing. I am who I am because of you, and there is no one else I want to be. Your love warms me from the inside out, weaving through me to touch every part of my life.
Every day, I wake up thanking God for you. You have given me so much within the last fifteen months. You have been my guiding light when I was lost. You have been my comforter through all my trials and sorrow. And you have been my rock. There have been so many times when I wanted to give up, and then you gave me hope and faith.
You are everything to me, Edward Anthony Masen. You make me a better person. I promise to always love you and always hold you in my heart. I will always be here for you when you need me, and I will love you no matter what life brings us.
I'm so grateful to Carlisle and Esme for offering their backyard and allowing us to have the wedding we want. I haven't been allowed to see it all, but I know it's simple and beautiful, just like our love. I can't wait to walk out on my father's arm and see you at the end of the aisle. More importantly, I can't wait to do what I've dreamed of doing since the moment I fell in love with you, and that is proclaiming my love in front of our friends and family and becoming your wife.
You are my soul mate, Edward, and I vow to love you until the day that eternity is gone. I am...
Eternally yours,
June 18, 2011
My beautiful Isabella,
I've made a deal with Charlie. He's going to sneak this letter in to you before you walk down the aisle. We're not supposed to see each other before the wedding...which is funny because we've lived together forever now. In turn, I'm supposed to talk all the guys into a weekend-long deep sea fishing trip. After the honeymoon, of course.
Aisle. Honeymoon. Jesus, Bella, we're getting married! In less than a few hours, you'll be my wife. Mrs. Edward Masen. As much as I want it, as much as I wanted it the very second I laid eyes on you a year ago today, I'm scared to death. I want it all with you, my sweet girl. All of it. I want everything life can hand to us – fighting and making up, holidays and, careers, kids, a house of our own. Every single little thing, Bella.
I can't wait to see you walk down the aisle, love. I know you'll look stunning. You always do, but the girls and your mother keep teasing me. They come downstairs absolutely speechless. It's all I can do not to run up there just to steal a kiss. I know you're as nervous as I am, but then again...we aren't. This was what we wanted. Something simple. Something just family and our friends. Something easy and perfect, like how we fell in love.
It seems forever ago that I was in hell on Earth, when I couldn't make promises, no matter how much I wanted to. Our road was long, a little rocky, and absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me. I remember clear as day the moment that I fell in love with you and just how wonderful and frightening it was all at the same time. I remember the first time I saw you face to face and how nervous we were, but only for a moment because we were just it. And I remember the first time I was able to promise you everything.
Isabella, I want to make different promises to you. I swear to you, no one will come between us. I swear that no matter how busy life gets, we'll always bring it back to us. I swear that you will always be the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. And I promise that no matter what life throws at us, I will love you until my last dying breath.
As this wedding drew closer and closer, my parents have been on my mind. They would have adored you, sweet girl. My mother, especially. For so long, I envied what they had – a love that surpassed everything, even death. I often wondered if what they had was rare. Maybe it was, but I seemed to have lucked out, too, I guess. I've found my best friend, my safe harbor, and the other half of me. It took me a very long time to realize, but I know they'd be happy for me. I hope that they look down on us today as we say our vows, knowing that they showed me what real love could be and that I'm so very happy.
I can't wait to see you, Bella. I'll be waiting at the end of the aisle.
You have my heart, always.
March 9, 2013
Dear Daddy-to-be,
I can't sleep because your son keeps jabbing me in the side every time I lie down, so I decided to take a moment to write down some of the thoughts crowding my head.
One thing you may not know about me is that when I was a little girl, I played make believe. I pretended to cook and clean and to be a momma to my baby dolls. In my play, I imagined a man, a husband. He was brave and strong and very handsome. And he loved me.
It was a dream – and some might have called it a silly fairy tale or the immature longings of a girl who loved romance...but I call it my life because you are the man of my dreams.
You are the first to hold me when I am afraid.
You are my encourager when I doubt myself.
You are the one who made me a mother.
You are also the one who still leaves his clothes on the floor. (Just keeping it real...)
But I can’t help but think of the things I didn’t dream about...
I didn’t dream that I would hear my husband humming the song he wrote for me as I dozed off to sleep.
I didn’t dream that my husband would buy a journal for his yet-to-be-born son and write letters to him because he knows how much the written words mean to that child's mother.
I didn’t dream that my husband would be my personal masseuse, rubbing every tired, achy, swollen part of my body as I grew heavier and heavier with our child.
The doctor said we are days away from being parents – yet we both know that we've been parents from the moment we conceived Anthony Charles on our wedding anniversary. You prove that every day when you spend a few minutes each day reading and talking to him as if he is already here and in your arms. He recognizes your voice and responds every time with kicks to my growing belly. He knows you're his daddy, and he already loves you.
More than anything, I want you to know that I love you more than I ever dreamed. You are my heart, my life, my best friend, my soul mate...and you will be the best father I could ever wish for my child.
Thank you for making my dreams come true.
All my love,
March 13, 2013
Finally, you're asleep, Mrs. Masen!
After only two days, I've totally got this Dad thing down. I promise. Okay, so Anthony fought me for about five minutes, but right now, he's watching me study for my test tomorrow. But I figure if you hauled him around for nine months, I can handle some late night study sessions/feedings/burpings/changings. I'm all over it. Take the night off, my sweet girl.
God, he's so beautiful, Bella. I can't believe we did that! I look at him, and I see us hair, my hands, but your eyes and sweet nose. I know parents are biased, but dammit, we did really good here, love. He's amazing. He's this perfect thing, the very best of us.
I want our son to have everything. It's overwhelming, the future I see. I want him to grow up knowing that we love him unconditionally, that holding him for the first time took my breath away, and that he can do no wrong. I want him to have your strength, your heart, your ability to love without question. I want him to be confident and brave, smart and funny, and I can't wait to find out if he likes books like you or music like me. Although, playing his lullaby a minute ago calmed him, so maybe that's a sign.
If I thought I loved you before Anthony arrived, I was completely mistaken, Bella. So, so wrong. Watching you with him makes my heart hurt. I didn't know that someone could love so much. But you two have shown me that love not only grows, it expands, changes, morphs into something wholly different. You're already so good with him. And the glow on that gorgeous face of yours is just...exquisite.
I just wanted to thank you, love. You've given me more than I ever thought I'd have, more than I thought I deserved. I have to get back to studying, and I think I'll have to play for Anthony again...he's getting fussy.
I love you both so, so much.
June 18, 2014
Happy anniversary and happy early birthday!
I love you” doesn't really begin to explain my feelings for you. That love has grown deeper with each passing year. When we got married three years ago, we didn't know what the future would hold, but we were excited and confident that whatever it was, we would do it together. And we have. When I think back to our wedding day, I think about how full of hope and love and excitement we were. I love that even now, that hasn't changed.
One of the things I love most about you is how grounded you are. Even when things around us are crazy, I can lean on you and feel comfort and safety in your arms. You are my rock, my safe place. I can trust you with my life, the life of our son, my crazy feelings, my fears, my dreams. And you are worthy of that trust.
As I look back over the past three years, I smile over the good times and feel tears well up as I think of the hard times. But it's been a beautiful life. I like to think that the joys we've experienced are made that much sweeter by the difficulties we've faced. We've been through so much together... Buying a new home was a long, arduous process. Balancing my work and writing with your school wasn't easy. Most importantly, we had an amazing, beautiful child. I'd like to say that we always did it all perfectly, but that wouldn't be true. But we have always approached each situation together, as a team. And when feelings have been hurt, we have apologized and made things right in our relationship.
Today, on our anniversary, I realize that we are once again completely unaware of what the next three...or thirty...years may hold. But as we continue to walk down that road, I know that we will be together, and you will be right there, holding my hand, and I couldn't imagine my life any other way.
I love you, Edward, now and forever.
June 18, 2014
Happy anniversary, Mrs. Masen...
I can't believe we've been married for three years already. It seems like yesterday when I received that first letter from this nosy teacher. In the blink of an eye, I fell completely and irrevocably in love with her.
You were the sweetest, most beautiful thing I'd ever seen...and you still are. And I regret nothing of how we came to be – not one letter, not one worried phone call, and certainly not moving someplace I had never been. My mother used to tell me to follow my heart. I did, and it was so worth it.
These last few years haven't been easy. With my school, your work, and adding Anthony into it, it's been downright crazy. But I promised you something on our wedding day. I promised you that we would always bring it back to us, and we've done an amazing job. We've made up after every fight, we've made every major decision as a family, and we've always made time for just us. Nothing makes me happier than Saturday mornings, pajamas, cartoons, and homemade waffles...just the three of us.
However, as much as I love our beautiful, smart son, I really can't wait to get my wife alone this weekend. It's been way too long since I've been able to take my time with you. And I plan to. I want to take you out, show you off, and then bring you back to the hotel to undress you. I want you to wear a dress, my beautiful girl, because I picked the tallest hotel in Seattle. Their elevators are really slow, and we're on the top floor. I know you haven't forgotten because you still get the sexiest smile on your face whenever we step into one, so prepare yourself, love.
I plan on spoiling you, Bella. You've spoiled me enough in our lives that you deserve this and so much more. You may not think you do, but it's true. You've given me family, a beautiful home, and an amazing son. You put up with two messy boys twenty-four-seven, with my school schedule and with more noise than you bargained for.
So, Mrs. Masen, these next two days are all about you. The first birthday I spent with you won't even come close to what I plan for you. This time, I don't want to play tourist. I want to visit all the old ways that make you call my name and invent some new ones. I want the most gorgeous woman wrapped around me with nothing between us, without fear of waking the baby, and without worries of having something planned the next day. No plans, no clothes, no worries. Got me, Isabella?
People used to tell me that things fizzle out, settle down after you've been with someone for a few years, but they're wrong. Or maybe we're different... Because I love you and want you just as much now as the day I first Skyped with you, the day I was first able to kiss you, the day you married me, and the day you gave birth to our son.
I love you, Bella. Happy anniversary, my sweet girl.
You have my heart, always.
April 23, 2015
Get it out! Get it out!
That's what is running through my mind at the moment. *laugh* It's not romantic, but then...I'm in the hospital, waiting to have baby number two... I'm not feeling romantic at the moment.
That doesn't mean I didn't feel like writing you a love letter...
I can't believe that by this time tomorrow (hopefully...), we'll be holding another baby. This pregnancy didn't go nearly as smoothly as the first, but I know it'll be worth it when we finally meet our little Jonathan Christopher or Elizabeth Marie. Every worry, every fear... None of that will matter when he or she is finally here.
You're with Anthony right now, putting him to bed. When you left with him earlier, his cries of, “Momma! Momma!” and his tears nearly broke me. He's only two years old. He doesn't truly understand why I'm in the hospital and why he can't stay with me. I know he's with his daddy, and that helps. And once you leave, he'll still be surrounded by family. Aunties Rose and Alice, Uncles Emmett and Jasper...not to mention “Poppa” Charlie and “Grandma” Sue. “Neenee” Renee and Phil will be there when he gets up in the morning...
But it still hurts my heart that I can't be with him.
Can you believe it's been two years since we were here in this same hospital to have our first baby? Time has just flown by. But I can't be happier with how our lives have gone.
You are such a wonderful daddy, Edward. Every time I see you stacking blocks, pushing a swing, or singing along to The Backyardigans – even if he doesn't understand it all – my heart skips a beat. When he falls, you are there to soothe him. When he succeeds, you are his biggest cheerleaders, just as you've always been mine. I have no doubts that when this little boy or girl makes their appearance, you'll be just as wonderful with them as you are with Anthony, and I couldn't love you more for it.
Thank you for making my job as a mother so much easier. You have taken school a bit more slowly than we'd thought just to help me with Anthony so I could continue teaching. I am ready to be home with both of our children for a while. Thank you for understanding and for soothing my worries about taking the year off work. Your support means the world to me.
I love you, Edward, so very much.
April 26, 2015
My dearest Bella,
Oh, you've done it now. A baby girl. Elizabeth Marie. She's so you made over, baby. And she owns me, just like her beautiful mother.
God, I was so scared, though. This was a rocky nine months for you. There were times when I thought my heart would shatter with worry, that I'd pace until I wore a groove into the floor. I'm pretty sure the nurses at the hospital hated me by the time it was all over because I was just as cranky as Anthony when he hasn't had his afternoon nap. Only worse – with foul language...and threats to their well-being. Sorry about that. I was just losing my mind, Bella. I don't know what I'd have done had something happened to you or Ellie. I'm pretty sure Anthony and I would be completely lost in this world without you. I've fought in a war, and that was nowhere near as scary as watching you struggle these last few weeks.
But then Ellie arrived, and everything was okay. The very second I held her, I was done. Just like when I held our son for the first time, holding our daughter caused this earthquake-type shift inside of me. They are both these little miracles that have me in awe most days. They both make me feel vulnerable, yet like a superhero at the same time. I don't know how to explain it, but it's the most amazing, knee-buckling feeling in the world.
I know you're worried about taking a year off from work. I don't want you to be. You should take time to be with our children, Bella. You deserve it. They deserve it. It's a no-brainer. You never really had to work at all, but we've managed just fine. Now it's time. Do it knowing I'm behind you one hundred percent. You've supported my decisions for extending my classes, so I can support this.
You are the very best thing that has ever happened to me. I love you, baby.
June 12, 2016
My graduate...
What a long road it's been for you, babe. You began your college career five and a half years ago, and it's finally paying off. I know you could have been done over a year ago, but because of our family, you put your needs last, as you've always done.
I am so proud of you, Edward. You excelled at school – like I had any doubts, Mr. Smarty-pants! – and all the while, you were a fantastic husband and father for Anthony and Ellie. Now, you're graduating with honors. Your parents would be just as proud as I am, babe – just as proud as my parents, Sue, Phil, Esme, and Carlisle, not to mention our friends.
We have so much to celebrate right now. As of today, you are a college graduate. In just a week, we'll have been married five years (it doesn't seem possible!), and you will be turning thirty-two. I have never been happier to be your wife and the mother of our two beautiful children. And come August, you'll be working at the same school as Alice and me. It's something I fantasized about years ago, when you first started school – walking down the hall together every day before school, sneaking off to the janitor's closet at lunch... I can't wait! It will be hard to leave Anthony and Ellie with a sitter, but at least that sitter is Esme. Now that she and Carlisle have moved up to Seattle to be closer to Alice, Jasper, and their three boys, she's playing doting grandmother and will be the official babysitter to not only her own grandchildren, but our two and Rose and Emmett's girls, as well. She'll be a busy woman, but I know she wouldn't have it any other way.
As we celebrate five years of marriage, I love how content I am with my life. I love how we are together, that we still find things to talk about. I love that we can still make each other laugh because we know each other so well. I love how you understand me when I have a totally random, out-of-nowhere thought – and that many times, you're having the same random thought. I love how we're a team. I love that our children love you so much. I love your hugs. I love it when you kiss me on the forehead for no reason other than you wanted to. I love that you learned to cook just to give me a break, even though it's something I like to do. I love that we enjoy many of the same things but are fine with having our own separate interests, as well.
Most of all, I love you. I'm grateful every day that we are together. The past five years have seemed like no time at all, and I'm thankful that I have the rest of our lives to celebrate together.
June 12, 2016
My sweet girl,
I truly need to thank you. Without you, I wouldn't be graduating today. Without you, I wouldn't have pushed and pushed to get where I am. I also wouldn't have so, so much in my life.
I'm a grateful man, my love. I have two smart, adorable children that are the two of us made over. Anthony is just like you, all smart and wordy and sarcastic. Watching the two of you chatter about everything and nothing over breakfast is the best part of my day. Ellie is quiet like me, already showing signs that she loves music, and I can't wait to teach her. I'm sure she'll be my best student. Ever.
I have this gorgeous, supportive wife that tells me she loves me, shows me she loves me every minute of the day. And now, I can finally relax. The hard part is over. And I thank you for being there every step of the way. I honestly don't think I could've done it without you. There were times I wanted to quit, times when the kids were sick and I'd gone to class on no sleep at all, and times where I wasn't sure it was worth the struggle, but you were there to remind me what I was striving for, to push me. And damn, I loved it when you helped me study, though I'm not sure I learned much – except what you looked like sprawled naked across the desk in the piano room. Did I pass that quiz, Mrs. Masen?
Soon, baby, we'll have the same schedule, the same drive to work, and the same goals. It's what we always talked about, what we always wanted. How lucky was it that Mr. Evans retired the same year that I'm finishing school? I can't believe I'll be taking over the music department next fall. It doesn't seem real to be that close. And I'm so glad it's elementary instead of the middle school I had the interview with two weeks ago.
Next week, we'll have been married five years, my beautiful girl. I want to celebrate with you. I want to curl up somewhere quiet with you in my arms and read our book together because I never want to forget what got me us here. I want to make love to you all night and then go pick the kids up from Carlisle and Esme's house the next morning so we can play all day together at the park with our friends and their kids.
Bella, you've made my life full and fun and amazing, and I don't know how to thank you. It hasn't been perfect, but it's been perfectly us from the very beginning. I love you more than you could possibly fathom. And my diploma today is dedicated to you.
All my love, my heart, and my soul,


Evelyne-raconte said...

ABsolutely perfect ! It finishes as it has begun, through beautiful letters. It was such a wonderful journey, I love it. Thank you so so much for sharing your imagination and your talent with us.

tds88 said...

This was such a beautiful story. I absolutely loved the letters. It's such a wonderfully romantic gesture and having the epilogue truly just letters throughout the years was perfect. This story has me setting some high standards for my own Sarge. ;) Thank you for letting me take this adventure with you.

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