I thought I'd do a weekly review today, but then decided to check in on Five Minute Friday, which I love, but am admittedly unfaithful to. Something about four kids and homeschooling and all that which seems to take priority to blogging. But, I checked today's topic and it is on "remember." Well, that is appropriate for my thoughts this week, which have been a roller coaster. My husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on Nov. 1st. Click the Five Minute Friday button at the end of the post for details on participating.
|Fuzzy photo I scanned awhile back of the young, dating Russ & Kelly. I don't really have any decent wedding photos, thanks to a poorly hired photographer. This grainy pic is actually one of my favorites.|
I remember when I first saw him over fifteen years ago out of my third story window and I did a loud, holler kind of growl at the new guy in the dorm and then ducked so he wouldn’t see me. I remember when my suite mate called to say the new guy with the blue truck worked in her shop and I told her to invite him out with us sometime. I remember pretending to lock myself out of the dorm, just to have an excuse to go talk to him in the parking lot, asking him to let me back in the dorms. I remember liking the way he walked when I followed him to the building and then I remember him telling me it was pretty stupid to leave my keys in my unlocked room upstairs. Yes, I ended up marrying the man whose first words to me were insulting my intelligence. But, at the same time it came from a place of recognizing it was unsafe for a single female to leave her room unlocked and also not wise, as anyone could steal from me. I remember thinking he couldn’t take a hint.
I remember our year of dating. I remember respecting his work ethic because he had a second job. I remember how he loved to turn down any random gravel road just to see where it went and how I loved going along for the ride. I remember late night meals at Country Kitchen, ease of conversation, the spontaneity of taking off to Kansas City on days off, and how he took care of me when I was incredibly sick twice while we dated. Once with a kidney infection that went undiagnosed for several days, until I was so sick that I was hospitalized. He gave me his bed and “slept” on his loveseat, getting up to check on me at night. Another time when we both ended up with food poisoning and he was helping me while he was also sick, then took us both to the emergency room for treatment. Not necessarily a pretty part of the story, but a good test of the upcoming vows of in sickness and health.
I remember our first separation. He went to Bosnia/Croatia for four months during our year of dating. I remember emails and many late night phone calls. I remember knowing then that I wanted to marry him. Our first “I love you” was over the phone. I had the nasty habit of smoking and Russ hated it, said he’d never marry a woman who smoked. I promised to quit while he was gone, but I did not. I remember smoking my last cigarette the day he was flying home and then I threw the pack in the trash and got dressed up in a black and white dress to pick him up from the airport.
I remember sitting at Sonic in Sept. of 1997, eating my M&M blast when he said, “So, when do you want to get married?” I pulled out my checkbook calendar and we picked Nov. 1st. I remember two months later when I was nervous and scared to tell him that I was pregnant. We had just gotten married. But, he was excited, couldn’t stop smiling, and said the baby was going to be a girl. He was right. I remember that girl having major, life-saving surgery when she was one day old, being told she may not make it and we would need genetic testing and depending on those results, it might not be wise for us to have children together. I remember crying together that night and reaffirming to one another that we married each other to be together, whether that life included children or not. I remember bringing her home from the hospital after two surgeries and two months in NICU, putting her on the bed between us and staring at her in complete awe. She is now thirteen and we have had three more children together.
I remember fourteen years, filled with moments of love and passion; filled with moments of selfishness and anger. I remember arguments and making up. I remember grudges and forgiveness. I remember laughter and tears. I remember when we accepted Christ as our Savior and our lives changed. I remember temptations and redemption. I remember separations and reunions. I remember new life and the loss of loved ones. I remember that the marriage vows were just words spoken by two, young and naïve people who can only fully comprehend and appreciate them after having lived them for years together, working to maintain their marriage and remembering that love isn’t just a word, but a choice we make everyday.
I remember when…..
Here is my favorite love song. It’s by Alan Jackson, “Remember When.” I think it’s the most beautiful, realistic love song written. And yes, I went over 5 minutes....again. I just didn’t want to stop remembering.