August 4, 2009

As of today, I've been married for two years. Not a long time, I know. But I love to reflect on my life with my husband at special times like this. You see, we may have only been married for two years, but we've known each other for nearly nine. I met my husband when he was only 15; I was 17. And our story--I think--is rather unique.

We met at church and was quickly thrown together by a very cliquish youth group. The guys ran around showing off their tans and football prowess, while the girls talked non-stop about getting manicures and shopping at American Eagle. Being the fashion pariah of the bookworm world that I was--let alone of the preppy beachcomber-wannabe set--I was bored out of my mind at every youth service. And since my husband cared neither for tans nor football, we eventually gravitated toward each other. (He was also wickedly intelligent, which I found incredibly attractive. At 15, he ran the sound equipment for the church's adult services and youth services. He was more skilled at it than adults twice his age.)

We started a friendship that lasted for three years. I soon fell in love with him, but my husband proved to be a tougher nut to crack. At any mention of my feelings, he would avoid me--sometimes for weeks. The turning point came when an old boyfriend (whom I liked) came back into my life with marriage on his mind. Although I ended up telling my ex that I couldn't be with him because I was in love with somebody else, the incident proved to be just the wake-up call my husband needed. Two months later, we officially became a couple.

We dated for over three years, and in that time our relationship went though the fire. Eight months after finally snagging the man of my dreams, I said goodbye to him and boarded a plane to Japan to spend a year in a study abroad program. About a month after I returned, his father suffered a brain aneurysm that rendered him disabled for three years. (A man who had worked for years as a computer programmer now could not drive his own car.) Right as we began planning our wedding, our church split. We had to ask a minister from another denomination to perform the ceremony almost at the last minute. In order to help pay for the wedding, my husband worked two retail jobs for a while--one during the day, the other at night. He survived on caffeine pills and soda. I also took a retail job, despite just having earned my college degree, because I couldn't find any other work. By the time we were finally wed, we were both physically and emotionally drained. Our ages at the time of marriage: 21 and 24.

The fun didn't stop there. We had no money, so we took up residence with his parents. Two months after our wedding, my husband joined the Navy. Four months later, he left for boot camp. After graduating, he flew home, packed up our stuff, and we moved 800 miles away from our families. The week before the move, I came down with a severe upper respiratory infection. I was terribly sick for over a month. But the toughest ordeal was yet to come: a year ago this August, a major stroke took my father-in-law's life. Thankfully, we were able to spend his last two days with him and attend his funeral.

This is not what I intended to write. Last night, I bought my husband an anniversary card talking about how I remember our first kiss, the first time we held hands, etc. I do amazing detail. That's what I set out to write, because when I think about all the hardships we have endured together, that's what I recall--the joys of our life together. However, I suppose it's never too late to recount some joys.

First time we held hands: We were watching the first Lord of the Rings movie in theaters. The big flaming Eye of Sauron freaked me out.

First "I love you": December 31, 2003. He gave me a romantic greeting card at a New Year's party I was hosting for my friends. Inside the card he had written "This card pretty much says it all, except 'I love you.'" The gesture was extra special because he never wrote notes. Ever.

First kiss: January 4, 2004. We were standing in his driveway at night in the rain. That was the night we officially started dating.

First time he made me feel proud: I received one of two highly competitive scholarships at the start of my senior year in college. We attended a banquet where the winners were to be announced. He told me not to get my hopes up. After my name was called, he said he wouldn't doubt my abilities again.

Wedding day: August 4, 2007. My husband forgot to bring the marriage license to the ceremony. It was eventually located in his bedroom at the bottom of his laundry basket. (Don't ask.) A good time was had by all.

Last photograph: You're looking at it. (Yes, the skinny chic with the non-existent butt is me. That handsome fellow I'm hugging is my husband. Now you know what I look like.) The picture was taken two weeks ago when we visited Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston, SC. If you've never been, it's a gorgeous place. If you go, take bug repellent.

Thanks for reading.


appleofhiseye said...

Hello Sanctum's Muse: I was on T.A.T blog and I truly love the articulate well explained response that you gave her.I will use them in the present near and distant future. God bless you.I will definately become a follower of your blog it seems interesting. Since you are such a great writer..please forgive my many grammatical errors and possible misspellings.Oh! and congratulations on finding the love of your life.

appleofhiseye said...

Greetings Again:
In one of your blogs you use profanity..why is that? your a Christian. Also I am sorry that you have been sick I hope you get better and please visit my blog if you like it will encourage you on those dark and lonely days...sometimes it not all physical it can be also spiritual.

Sam said...

Happy Anniversary! What a great story =)

Sanctum's Muse said...

Thanks, Apple! I'm glad to have you as a follower. Thanks for reading. I will definitely check out your blog.

To answer your question about the profanity, I'm probably not what you would call an "average" Christian. I love God and do my best to follow His commands, but I'm not perfect and don't try to be. I went through a very long period in my life where I tried to fit the mold of the "perfect Christian," and I failed so miserably so many times that I almost gave up trying to do anything right at all. I finally decided to just focus on what I thought was most important for my faith and resolve the smaller issues in time.

You may have noticed, though, that I rarely use profanity in my writings and have used it only to express very intense feelings. I know that using profanity influences the way others see me--both as a person and as a Christian--and I try to keep my audience in mind as well, knowing that others can find such language inappropriate or offensive. In the meantime, I am working on my imperfections. Forgive me.

appleofhiseye said...

Of course I hard feelings..its just that God wants so much more out of us and Praise Jesus being perfect is not one of them, Glory! b I failed possibly millions of times since i have been saved.However maybe this will help you with profanity even though its only done on occasion, trust me i used to curse like a sailor so here's a scripture to help you combat this if you want to.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. James3:10.
Have a great evening!!

TC said...

Happy Anniversary! What a fantastic picture of you and your hubby. :) I have always ALWAYS been jealous of women who can pull off that pixie-esque hair cut...and you look gorgeous with it.

I am glad that you two have weathered the storms together, and have had each other to help along the way. My husband was amazing all through the stress of first, getting the nerve to go back to school to get my teaching degree, and then helping me through my dad's battle with cancer. We were supposed to get married July 2006, but my dad's docs said if we wanted him at the wedding, we had to have it much sooner. My family and I managed to plan a wedding on a budget in three months in May 2005, and my dad was well enough to walk me down the aisle and dance with me (you can see a pic of the former on my blog). Six months later, he wasn't even able to walk. All I know is my husband was always there for me, and I'll love him forever for it. :)

Take care of you and yours. :)


Sanctum's Muse said...

Thanks, TC! Sorry to hear about your dad; I'm sure that was tough. Thankfully, my father-in-law was able to be at our wedding, but sadly died three months before his daughter was to get married.

teacherwriter said...

Happy Second Anniversary! And such a romantic post! Congrats also on your future family addition :-)

Ness said...

I think this post is just lovely. I worship my husband upside down. He's supported me through miscarriages, two types of cancer and the loss of several of our family members (my dad and his mum included) and, after 13 years together, we STILL remind each other of our first kiss/love you/hand holding.
You're the first person writing about your partner that I've completely identified with.
When your relationships are challenged as severely as ours have and still remain standing, I think it's a true estimate to say that it could weather almost any storm.
Strangely enough, it's our anniversary on Monday (ashamedly I forgot!) and my husband turned to me today and told me he loved me even more than he did on our wedding day.
Despite the stress in our lives, aren't we blessed to have found our soul mates?

I truly do love your writing. What an open minded, fun and interesting person you are. I can't wait to read your future blogs.


Sanctum's Muse said...

Thanks, Ness! So glad to have you as a follower.

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