03 May 2012

Love Story: Danny's Email to Me the Night Before We Meet (Best One Ever)

Dear readers - this email from Danny was one of the best emails I had received to date. (In case you're new here, we are publishing some of the emails that Danny & I exchanged in the 3 weeks before we met each other.  We were two newly divorced people, living at peace and looking for a partner who was doing the same.  You can see the whole collection of emails here.)

Mara, darling,

Finally, I'm back home and able to write you.  I can't believe that in 24 hours I will get to hold you for the first time, to hear your voice, to breathe you in, to thank you, to LOVE you, to begin to memorize everything about you so that I can take you with me when I leave.  I am truly excited. 

I just finished singing/playing Hard Headed Woman... I've loved that song for years (my family grew up listening to Cat Stevens), but boy has it taken a whole new meaning for me this year.  I had learned how to play/sing it years ago, but it fell out of my routine because it didn't hold as much meaning to me.  But this last year, I would come home and play/sing it almost every night sometimes.  It was my way of reminding myself that one day I'd find her...one day I'd meet a woman that I would love, respect, and admire, a woman that would bring out the very best in me and our family.  I knew that some day I'd find someone that shared my life goals and commitments...but I'll tell you that I never thought she'd come to me without me even looking, or that instead of meeting standards that I thought I might have set too high, she'd blow them out of the water.  I am humbled and in awe of you, and of how truly blessed I feel.  Plus, my voice is finally back and I was actually able to sing it better than I've done in a long time.  Tonight I sang it for you, and I could feel every word of it and rejoice. 
Hard Headed Woman by Danny (he recorded this on his iPhone and sent it to me later, after we had met)

I love you for what you've done to me.  I am a better man since meeting you, in every way!  I don't just have hope and belief anymore...it's actually tangible, I can feel it all around me and through me.  I feel vibrant with love for you!

Going back a few emails, regarding being filterless and open.  Mara, if this works out like we both think and hope it will, I want to tell you right now that I will love you the very best that I am able.  I have never been someone who is content with being stationary or stagnant in where I am in life or what level of personal development I have attained.  By that I mean that as greatly as I may love you now, I will learn to love you more and more.  I know that I am capable of great love, especially when it is returned to me in the fashion that you have already demonstrated.  This lack of filter and openness that I have enjoyed with you is not just something that I do in writing (though I certainly think sometimes it is easier to do it like that), this is who I am.  Anybody who has ever attended a class or lesson or who has had me visit them in their homes will tell you how comfortable I am (or at least try to be) expressing love and compassion for them, and how important I believe it is to any lesson I give.  Years ago I had a bishop who blew me away with his ability to express genuine compassion/love/affection for me the second we first met.  I'd never felt that from a stranger before.  My analytical brain asked what was different about him that helped him make me feel so special.  Later I had mission presidents, other bishops, stake leaders, seventy, etc...who all impressed me with this same ability.  There are some people we meet in the church who with just a few words immediately lift you up, and even if you've never met them before, you can tell they love you.  I noticed one thing similar about them all, they freely express their love and the confidence they have in those around them to be who they are truly meant to be. 

I want to be just like them, and when I realized that a big part of what made them so powerful was the kind/loving/positive language they used (and consequently the Spirit of God that accompanies their words), I knew I needed to start practicing.  And so it has been since I served my mission, where I began to tell everyone I taught that I loved them and believed in them, that I loved and admired the companion serving with me, I would genuinely compliment them so they could tell that I was paying attention to how great they were/could be.  I believe that is the language of God, and I've been trying to learn it.  Yes it takes guts, you've got to put yourself out there.  But when you do, the reward is so real and so great, and it is the best way to lift people up, and be lifted up yourself by God. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is this openness that I have expressed so far is an integral part of who I am.  This is a language I am trying to learn.  I can't tell you how THRILLED I am to meet someone who speaks it so openly to me in return and to everyone else around her.  I LOVE YOU FOR THAT!  You're strength and love of those you are called to serve, and even those you aren't, simply amazes me.  I can tell you speak this language that I myself have tried so hard to develop, and I just couldn't be happier about that.  So yes Mara, I will be bold, and I will go for it.  I will love you the absolute best that I can, and I will seek ways and words to show you that so you will know it without question. 

There...I've said it.  That is my commitment to you and whatever we may become (I hope partners in every sense of the word).  I look forward to every moment that we will share, and I am eternally grateful for everything you have already given me.  So much love, hope, compassion, energy, and kindness has flowed from your every word.  I cherish them and thank God for you. 

Thank you for giving yourself to me, know that I have given myself entirely to you, I am completely yours.

Goodnight Darling!  Tomorrow is finally here :)  And I couldn't be happier!

With much love and affection,


P.S.  How cool is it that I will get to tell you good night myself, and wish you good morning myself the following day.  I LOVE IT!

(Can you believe this email?  I am still melting over Danny's letters to me and I've been married to him for 2 years now!  He continues to be the most loving man I've ever met.)

Are there any loving things your husband does for you? (Husbands reading: take notes! :) :)


Our next 'Class About Love' is tonight (Thurs., May 3 @ 8 pm )!  Hear more about our trials & learn exactly what we've done to overcome them.  The stuff we'll teach in this class is stuff that changed us forever.  We've been working our tails off planning it.  Luckily Danny kept us going with fresh batches of homemade salsa.  :)

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  1. Oh my word!!! I just listened to the audio clip embedded in this post. Danny - you have an absolutely amazing voice which is so clear yet soulful. Blew me away! What a wonderful reminder this song is to us women out here to become all we can be, all that we desire our men/future husbands to be - full of goodness and virtue, knowing exactly what we stand for and what we don't. Thank you for sharing that with us. Love you both!

  2. Geez Mara, I need to start doing my makeup AFTER reading your blog. Beautiful words.

  3. Danny exceeded all expectations - wow!! Love how creative you both are in your own ways. Must be so inspiring. Reading these emails is a great way to start the day!

  4. Oh ùmy, oh my.... your love just keep inspiring us and making me cry!!!

  5. Wow! nice music! I like your blog as well. I look forward to new posts from you pretty soon. =) Thanks for the share.

  6. wow! that is an email and a half. My ex used to write me the best love letters-but as you know life is more than words. I am glad that your words are staying real

  7. This is the first letter I've read so I dont really know your histories but i'm fascinated by the idea of being filterless and open...a kind of healthy vulnerability.

    Life throws crazy things our way...everyone experiences this. Mine is healing from a sex addiction that infiltrated our marriage. now we are searching for that healthy vulnerability, unfiltered openness.

    1. EMS - Thanks for commenting. The filterless thing was something Mara and I wrote each other on the very first day of emails.

      I do think it is a very important thing, and like you said, a healthy kind of vulnerability. I think it's important and worth mentioning that being filterless for me doesn't mean that you just say whatever comes to your mind (like all sorts of negativity and criticism). But it does mean that you are bold with all the positives that come to your mind.

      I try to make it a rule that when I am feeling positive feelings of appreciation, love, respect, etc....that I should give them voice. I should use all those moments to build those around me, whether they are friends, family, or strangers.

      I try my hardest to limit any and all negativity...I try not to complain or criticize, or speak poorly of another.

      Hope that helps.

    2. Danny, you are SO wonderful!!!!! I wish all men could be like you.
      You are a dreaming couple and I wish you all the best. I hope you will live happily ever after until... I don't know... maybe until you'll be 140 years old?

  8. This just warmed me straight to my toes. Thank you for sharing these awesome letters.

  9. Danny, I love what you said about showing love towards others... I'm a doula, so I'm with couples as they welcome their new child into the world. Talk about being in an emotionally vulnerable position! These moms are trusting me to be present while they birth, it's an overwhelming honor. While I meet with them before the birth and we talk through their pregnancies, ultimately I don't know these people well when I step into their labor room. I want so much to help them feel peace and safety and respect and compassion. Your words to Mara have me thinking even more about how I can best convey my love towards the families I serve. Thank you! Much to ponder...

    1. Heidelade,

      I love this! I do this in my profession every day (I work with some schools in NYC). Everyday I'm visiting new schools with unfamiliar principals and teachers.

      I make it a goal to find out about the things that are important to them before I even meet them, so that later I can compliment them sincerely, let them know that I value their hard work and sacrifice, etc.

      Even in that situation, I've found how wonderful it can be to more freely share love and respect with those around me. More powerful bonds are formed almost immediately...as long as I am truly sincere.

  10. These are great letters guys! Thanks for sharing! And are you kidding me!? Danny's voice is Aweseome!

  11. I was introduced to your blog two days ago at our monthly power of moms meeting. My friend was really touched by your Mother's Day sacrament meeting talk and shared the link with us. We were discussing the topic of "desire", and your words were a great reminder that we should be putting into practice now the kind of person we want/need to be so that when/if our desires come to pass we are prepared! Now I've read all your love letters and can't wait for more! Hopefully you post about your meeting soon...can't wait! Love your site and your attitude towards life. I'm a new fan!

    1. Whitney - I LOVE the Power of Moms! So happy to hear that you're apart of it. And delighted to hear that the Mother's Day talk was helpful. thank you!

  12. This is sooooooooooooo heartwarming! I have loved reading this love story... It's so unique! Just lovely!


  13. The two of you amaze me. I love to check your blog every day for something new and inspiring! Thank you for your honesty, stories, trials, and bravery! I find your stories grandiose!
    Mara: I think you are beautiful! I love your style and your genuine love to share and help others! I can feel your energy through each post!
    Danny: Can we clone you? You are a true inspiration and give women a belief that true love exists! A true romantic.
    I shared your blog with a dear friend of mine and she is lucky enough to meet the two of you next week! We both shared a lengthy conversation about your blog and how wonderful we think the two of you are!
    Thanks for opening your relationship, thoughts, and love to us all!

    1. Sindee - so nice to hear from you - and yes, we're excited to meet you friend next week. Thanks for passing along our blog to her. Best to you.

    2. And yes...we are working on a clone and will let you know how that moves along :)

  14. danny! YOu've reminded me about a few church leaders (and their wives) who touch me just as you mentioned! IT is such a skill and talent I believe - I also want to be like them. I used to think I love how that leader/area authority/mission president etc just exude love and warmth and just a handshake and small questions from them can make you feel so good!

    there was one leader who would always ask questions and get me talking (not hard) and afterwards I would always go gah!!! I never got to ask about him/his life! they are always just looking out for me! and there is a wife of a beloved previous stake president whom I just love and want to be like. Its hard for me cause I'm a chatty loud person who is a bad listener! but I know what I want to aspire too!

    thanks for the thoughts about that!

  15. I have a somewhat silly question, but it's something I've found myself debating over the years: When you invite a potential love interest (who lives out of town) to visit you in your city, how do you handle the sleeping arrangements? Danny & Mara, in your case, you obviously already knew a great deal about each other from your lengthy e-mail exchanges -- so I wonder, Mara, did you invite Danny to stay in your guest room, or did you both decide a hotel room would be best?

    Again, I realize this sounds silly and oddly logistical, but it's a situation I've never quite known how to handle. Thanks for your feedback (and for sharing so much of yourselves with your readers!).

  16. I love the idea of openly telling people what you love about them and how great they are. I'm not so great at this. My "baby step" has been to say out loud the compliments that are in my head. Such as how cute someone's hair looks, how much I love their outfit, what a great lesson they gave. Things I would often think but then keep to myself. I'm getting better at it.

  17. I think it's amazing that even before you two began a life together, that Danny was so grounded in the Truth - and knew that the type of love and openness he experienced was the way of God's love and openness to us. Most importantly, the way he gives thanks to God genuinely is just such a blessing for people to witness. I think it's the most beautiful to see two people attempt to love one another with God's love. :) Cheers!

  18. I cried. And whimpered a little with this one. So much love. In such beautiful words.


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