Friday, June 27, 2008

Year 14 and counting

Next week will mark 14 years. My how time flies when you're having fun!

Dana and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary next week. I'm devoting today's post to the thoughts that ran through my head during our firsts.

The first time we met, he sat on the brick terrace landscaping outside our college's music hall with a white Gibson guitar in his grip. I remembered thinking someone better cut the excess ends from those strings before it puts an eye out. (My mom worked for an eye doctor for 30 years -- all of my thoughts are in relation to eye safety.) He said, "So, you can sing, huh?" I said yeah. He said, "So, you wanna be in a band?"

Oh, a long-haired, guitar-playing, tattoo-having, earring-sporting college boy! Just what I always wanted.

The first time I told my mother I met someone (in reference to Dana). She said, "Is he Catholic?" (This question is incredibly hilarious coming from her because she's a former Lutheran whose family members nearly disowned her for marrying my Catholic dad back in 1963.) I said, "He sure is. He's also go long hair, an earring, a tattoo and he plays guitar." She said with dismay, "Oh, Kathryn."

The first time I kissed him. We were looking at the stars above Lewis & Clark Lake and I remembered thinking, "Well, here goes. Might as well get it over with." It was that thought exactly, but I can't remember what it I was trying to get over with. Maybe I knew then already that I was about to lose my heart, so it was just time to surrender.

The first time we talked marriage: It wasn't the romantic setting most girls dream of. I had grown tired of paying rent and was in the process of moving back into my mom & dad's home in an effort to become a more mature human being. He said, "So, you wanna get married?" I shrugged and said, "Okay."

The first time we found out we were pregnant: We had only been married for eight weeks and couldn't wait to get started with our lives together. That included having children. We celebrated by going out to eat, and I puked for the next nine months.

The first time we fought was the first indication he had a drinking problem that would almost end our marriage several year later. I buried my head in the sand until a friend later pointed it out to me, but that's another blog.

The first time we bought a car together he was so mad at me because I spent $8,000 on a POS Neon that would never last. That was 1998. We still own the only Neon in the world with 158,000 miles (and counting) on it.

The first time we saw our youngest daughter, we looked at each other and said: Wow, it's a girl. We weren't expecting that! and that was quickly followed by, Wow! She has red hair. Where'd that come from?

The first time we stepped foot into the house in which we decided to raise our family he fell in love with it; I thought Lord this is a lot of work for this much money. We still live in the money pit, but it has comfortable character. My only complaint about it now is that its 15 miles from work and gas prices are outrageous.

The first time my husband told me he had accepted Christ as his savior and was finally ready to be confirmed I was elated. I still swear I felt the presence of his deceased grandmother at Mass with us that night. She was crying tears of happiness that he'd finally come to the Lord.

The first time he promised to quit drinking for me and the girls was the last time he ever touched a drink. I respect him and love him so much for having the discipline to abide by that huge sacrifice for himself and for us.

The first time I saw him with short hair I thought: DANG! I'm married to a hottie!

The first time he bought a welder to work on the car he's restoring, he acted like a little kid with a new toy ...wait, he's still acting like a little kid with a new toy because of that thing.

The first time I had a notion of my own aging was when I looked at Dana and saw the gray hairs starting to form in his mustache and subtle sideburns. I thought, Wow, it's going to be great growing old with this guy.

And I still think that.

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