Romantic gestures are always appreciated by this little hopeless romantic, but this one at 24,000 ft took the cake.
Last Tuesday Matt’s squadron surprised all the spouses with a last minute appreciation day and the opportunity to ride in a tanker to watch them refuel! Now, to bring everyone up to speed with pilot lingo (I’m still learning), here’s a quick summary: Matt flies the F-35 fighter and when the plane travels for more than a couple hours, it gets refueled mid air by a KC-135, refueling tanker. In order to refuel, this long pipe looking thing, or boom, drops out of the tanker and hooks into the jet, allowing for more gas to pump in. So basically, I had the opportunity to lay at the back of the plane with the boom operator and watch him in action up close, wind blowing my bangs wild and all. It was also the first time I got to see Matt fly…swoon. If that wasn’t enough, there’s more…
As I’m laying at the back of the plane, watching Matt fly up, I notice there’s a note for me on his dashboard that I can clearly start to see as he gets closer. It says “Hey Steph – Dead Sea”. Now this is where The Lumineers come in. Before Matt and I started dating and were good friends, our appreciation for the same types of music was really a big part of our friendship and lengthy conversations. One day, we started talking about how much we both loved the Lumineers and more specifically the song, Dead Sea. Matt then went on in depth about how his love for the song is all in the lyrics and how powerful he thought they were. I hadn’t paid much attention to the meaning of the lyrics and asked him what he meant and he pointed out a specific part of the chorus:
You’ll never sink when you are with me
Oh, lord, like the dead sea
The finest words you ever said to me
Honey can’t you see,
I was born to be, be your dead sea
This, along with 100 other fleeting moments, that felt like forever are what eventually pushed our cherished friendship to more. Fast forward to our first Christmas as a very new couple, where I had a little romantic gesture of my own planned. I gifted him a framed picture of the actual Dead Sea. Of course, I was a little nervous, because I wasn’t sure if he had placed as much meaning as I had to our little conversation we had months ago. I cringed as I watched his face, slowly opening the parcel. Then a big smile started to form and with wide eyes he said “you remembered”. Now the photo hangs in our first home together, the vinyl of the song plays in our living room and the words “Dead Sea” find themselves at the end of emails, little notes, and on the dashboards of F-35s. Now I can’t top sending you clever notes in the sky, but I can write you a blog post. So this ones for you babe. Love you…so much.