Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thing Number Twenty-Four | Relationship

Once upon a time, a boy saw a girl across a college campus and thought that she looked special. A little while later, he saw her walking across a crowded cafeteria and told his friends that she was the girl he was going to marry, even though he’d never met her. The fact that, as he was telling his friends this, she went and sat with some other guy did not deter him. In fact, he asked his roommate to ask the girl to be his date for an upcoming GYRAD (Get Your Roommate A Date) floor event. His roommate did and the girl said yes (even though she’d turned down similar GYRADs with boys she’d never met). Their first date started a little awkwardly but he gave her a white rose (it’s been their flower ever since) and they started talking and it was as if they’d known each other forever. They dated for almost four years and then the boy’s prediction came true:  they got married (she carried white roses on their wedding day). And they lived happily ever after.

That’s all true and it would make a very good fairytale but life isn’t like a fairytale. If you let it, it can be better. It can be real. Jon and I have been together since 1991. We got married in 1995. It’s now 2012 and the story didn’t end with the wedding. Living together and building a life with the man I love, the boy I fell in love so many years ago, has been the hardest and most rewarding thing in my life. Just learning to live together was a struggle. What do you mean you just leave things in a pile on the table? Why can’t I move the pile? Why can’t I put the things in the pile away?  And it was also a blessing. Someone to cuddle with at night? Oh, yeah! Someone to carry the groceries up the stairs to our tiny little apartment? Uh, huh. Someone to meet me after work or classes with a big hug? Yes, please!

We’ve grown so much in our years together and, most of all, we’ve grown towards each other. I know that I’m not the person I would’ve been had I not married Jon and he’s not the person he would’ve been had he not married me. I think he reads more than he would’ve, had he married someone else. I know I go to more air shows and watch more football (Go, Eagles) than I would’ve, had I married someone else. We’ve adapted to each other and it’s drawn us closer to each other. And closer to God. I know that our relationship, our marriage, honors and glorifies God and draws us closer to Him and this is such a good thing.

Our fairytale hasn’t been perfect. We’ve had health issues and career upheavals and I never got pregnant. We live in a small house (not a castle) and it’s just the two of us (even the dog died). No, it’s not perfect but I wouldn’t trade this relationship for anything else in the world. I look at the man I met almost twenty-one years ago when he was just a boy and I fall in love with him all over again.

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