The first decade. awww.

Bri and I always say we met on a blind date. We did, but it was more of an arranged phone call, followed by a face to face meeting at a specified place & time a couple days later. I do believe I fell in love with him right there on the spot. We were inseparable from there on out.

I didn’t dare tell my parents about him at first. I had been warned about the repercussions of dating ‘non believers’ and I understood what they were saying and had witnessed how doing so had the potential to give life a few extra curveballs. But I had a feeling about this one. So I waited. I wanted to get to know him better before I faced my folks and answered what I knew would be one of the first questions they asked, “Where does he go to church?”

I noticed that his diet back then consisted of pizza, sandwiches from Subway and Boston Market as well as his standard near-daily taco bell run. Eventually, I was able to say he “went to the same church that I attended” because I had lured him in to come and eat Sunday dinner with us afterwards. I would have thought he was crazy to refuse my parent’s Sunday dinners! He would’ve been a goner for sure.

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I was fascinated by him. He was softspoken and gentle spirited but still had a little of that bad boy thing going on too. And when he kissed me, my knees went weak as if I didn’t have any knees at all. Ten years later, I still feel the same way.

Four months after meeting, I moved to Orlando (a 2+ hour drive from home) to go to a different school. Sure enough, 6 weeks later, he moved too. I knew I had him for life. We went to check out a specialty school where he eventually registered to attend. But one night while driving down the road I asked him, “Why are you going to spend all that money on school? Why don’t you spend some on a ring and just marry me instead!” He pulled over into a parking lot immediately. We were such kids. So impulsive and in love…we were engaged a month later and married six after that.

I’m struck by how different we are now than we were back then. And though some of it is still painful, there is a rich history between us. When we were first married, people would tell us that it ‘just gets better as you get older’ and I wondered what could really be better than this…the future was wide open and the possibilities seemed endless. And yet, I do think I’m starting to grasp what they were trying to convey.

Our history together is layered thick in the friends and family who have made us laugh hard enough to remember. Who rejoiced with us at baby dedications and new jobs and put their arms around us when things weren’t going as hoped for. As a result, our individual walks with Christ have deepened and grown. More so in the past few years than ever.

I am grateful that he and I can sit and say nothing and it is okay because somehow, someway, we understand. It was obvious in the way we looked at each other across the hospital room, completely speechless and numb, after Avy came out of surgery. The nights I would cry myself to sleep and even though he said nothing, I knew he was lying there awake with me.

When I look in Tay’s eyes, I see her daddy there. I love that we are family. That she and her sister are ours. Few things have made my heart swell more than seeing him have a tea party with our girls. It fills an empty place in my heart. I feel proud when Bri accomplishes or steps closer toward his goals, when he learns something new. We do not have two separate lives as we did 10 short years ago. And to think I always thought the ‘two become one’ was a bedroom reference. When life was unfolding at face value, much more was happening in our souls and with each other. Permanent imprints. Like another fresh stroke of paint on the canvas.

And so as they say, the best is yet to come.

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~ by hthr on February 22, 2008.

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