Mairead Daniels – #ThousandWords #002

Mairead at The Way Station with the TARDIS

As a photographer, I very often hear the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I thought about that a lot… I fancy myself a pretty darn good writer, and I wondered if I really could come up with a thousand words based on just one photograph. I decided to take that as a challenge, and rise to meet it. In this series of #ThousandWords, I will give you one photograph, and write a thousand words—or more—about all aspects of the photo: the subject, the setting, the situation, etc…

This second post in the series is dedicated to someone very, very important to me. Someone I love more than anyone/anything on the planet. Someone I plan to spend the rest of my life with: Mairead Daniels.

A thousand words for the most amazing woman in the world…

It’s been a year, today, since Mairead and I started dating and… I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this one, so I’ll start off with the moment before I pressed the shutter button… Mairead was sitting on a bar stool in front of me, probably playing Candy Crush Saga, or some similar nonsense, on her iPhone. I was just testing out my manual settings on my camera for the current lighting, and I yelled, “Hey, you!” She looked up, and I released the shutter; this is the end result of that. I love the TARDIS in the bokeh, ominously standing there, with the light on as if it were just materializing at that moment, with The Doctor (David Tennant, no doubt) about to rush out to save us all from some horrible alien-related fate to which we were completely oblivious. Sadly, that did not happen; what DID happen, though, was Mairead snapping back with, “ugh, you better delete that.”

Doctor Who Tenth Doctor "yeah right..."

Obviously, I didn’t.

This is certainly not the best photo I’ve taken of Mairead. Technically speaking, it’s probably not even in the top ten, when it comes to aesthetics. The glare on her glasses ruins it for me… but… I still really do love this photo. The focus is off by just a hair… her glasses are more in-focus than her eyes. I would have preferred a slightly lower angle, and maybe to be back about a foot or two so I could get more of her in the frame without losing any of the TARDIS in the background. I’m glad I got her letters, though, and you can clearly see her adorable silver elephant earrings. …Gosh, I really hate glare.

So, if this—technically—isn’t my favorite photo, why am I using it for this #ThousandWords post? Because it just MEANS so much more to me than pretty much any of the others I’ve taken. You see, Doctor Who was a major part of the early stage of our relationship, and still plays a big role in it, today (even though the latest seasons, aka Moffat Who, are terrible). The Way Station was a place we’ve been trying to get to for a while, and we came here for a show: Alfa Garcia was performing that night, and a good friend of mine was planning to join us. After the show, we all took silly photos in front of the TARDIS (which is actually the entrance to the bathrooms, so… I guess you could say we took photos in front of the bathroom door, which sounds much funnier out of context) and it was a pretty memorable night… even though the crowd was too loud for the music, most of the time. It was also a stressful night, though, as just about any night in Brooklyn is, for me.

Anyway, I’d like to talk more about the subject of this photo… Mairead and I met on June 14, 2012. The first words she said to me were an exclamation when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket, “is that a TARDIS phone?!” My iPhone has a TARDIS skin on it. This was after I had already dropped my guitar pick out of my mouth and stopped playing without realizing it as soon as she walked into the room. I was practicing for worship at Bible study, that night.

My first thought was, “holy crap, this girl is gorgeous… and she’s wearing a geeky shirt, so she’s probably smart, too.”

Doctor Who Tenth Doctor 3-D Glasses

AM I SEEING THIS RIGHT?!?

I was super nervous, but very glad that I had shaved earlier that evening.

Ten days after we met, I asked her out. I was bringing her home from having just watched Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (I know, best movie to bring a girl to on a first date, right? Especially when her mother had previously proposed the possibility of me being an axe murderer…), and gotten Ralph’s for dessert. It wasn’t much of a date, but we talked a lot (and anyway, we’ve been texting NON-STOP for the previous 10 days), and I had decided: She is the one. Yes, I had made that decision that soon, even though the odds were very against me. So we were in my car, a few blocks from her house, and my heart was beating so hard—and so loud—that I could have SWORN she was able to hear it, loud and clear. I had the biggest lump in my throat, but I just couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by.

Scott Pilgrim "I was thinking about asking you out..."

Best decision I ever made.

Our relationship over these twelve months has been… rocky, for lack of a more accurate word. We both received flak from our families regarding our relationship. We both had issues within ourselves that needed to be resolved, and to this day, we know that our relationship is a living thing; it requires love, attention, care, occasional watering, and food ad libitum… er… okay, maybe not quite like a living thing, but it does require constant sacrifice. It requires us both to take the other into consideration when speaking, thinking, or doing just about anything. We’re in this for the long-haul, and we have something more than incredibly meaningful. We have something…

Doctor Who Ninth Doctor - Fantastic!

Doctor Who Tenth Doctor - Fantastic!

In these first twelve months of our life together, we have both changed considerably. I look forward to that keeping up, because we’ve both been growing into stronger, wiser, smarter, more independent, and more faithful people. We’ve grown closer to each other, closer to our families, and more importantly, closer to God. Jesus continues to be the center of our relationship, and we’re not ashamed of that. God brought us together and God strengthens us through all of our hardship. We have bad days, everyone does… But our bad days together are a thousand times better than any bad day we could face on our own. And our good days together are just incomparable to anything we could experience on our own.

So, the woman you see in that photo up above (higher-res, here) is truly the most incredible woman I know, and if these first twelve months are to be a sure sign of anything, it’s that our life together is going to only get more and more FANTASTIC as time goes on. We give God the glory for all of our blessings, the strength He imparts during our sufferings, and the mercy He displayed by bringing us together at just the perfect time in our lives.

Mairead… We had quite a year… I know you forgive me for the rough times I’ve caused, and you know I forgive you of the ones you’ve caused. So let’s learn from our mistakes and make our second year even better than the first…

And…

Doctor Who Tenth Doctor "I'm gonna hug you."

I love you, Mairead. Here’s to many, many more years for us.

… And I promise to not do something like this every year.

… But I can’t promise I won’t ever write 1208 words about you, again.

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About the Author

Christ-Follower, New Yorker, Performance Photographer, Social Engineer, Wannabe Musician, Amazing Husband, Internet Marketing Specialist: #SEO #SEM #LBM

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