I don’t often lead with that. Beyond my rants, raves and the thick layer of sarcasm, I really am a girl who counts her blessings… both big and small.
I’m grateful for my children and all the trials, tribulations and joys that come with parenting. On that note, I am also very, very grateful for wine. And Xanax. (Kidding. Kinda.)
I am grateful when I find a great parking space or a T-shirt for $2 on clearance at Target. Grateful for family and friends, grateful for good health…
But I am extremely Beyond Words, Still Pinch Myself When I Wake Up Each Morning, grateful for my Handsome Hubby (HH). I love him more than anything. And it’s been a long time coming.
We were in 6th grade together but I don’t remember him. (I tell him that he just wasn’t very memorable.) We went to different Jr. High Schools and “met” again in our sophomore year of High School. He was certainly memorable by then! I was 15, and I. Fell. Hard.
We dated for 11 months, which is a lifetime at that age. At that age, after 11 months I should have been eligible for alimony and been allocated a 50-50 split of the contents of his locker…. I should have been granted full custody (or at least visitation) of his letter-man’s sweater (preferably still smelling of his shampoo.)
He broke up with me, stating the need to date other people. I was devastated!
I cried for months. I wouldn’t date anyone else. I made it clear that nobody should be dating him (he joked about that at dinner just the other night, heh heh…) Mostly? I pined away. I spent the remainder of my High School days pining away. I still was involved in school. Still went to football games and to dances… but with other guys. Poor, unfairly treated guys whose only crime was that they were not HH.
It was clear to me that my Love Boat had sailed without me and HH was busy chasing cruise director Julie McCoy around the Lido Deck. I poured my heart out to Doc, Isaac and Captain Stubing. They all had the same advice for me:
“There are other fish in the sea”… “move on”… “it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all”… (FYI – anyone who offered up that little pearl of wisdom got a punch in the neck.)
Well. That’s what I did. I moved on. I dated other people, ended up engaged and got married. (I even invited HH to my wedding to “show” him I was over him.)
So yes, I moved on with my life and just accepted that I would always have something missing. That I wouldn’t ever have that passion, but I would have a nice, comfortable, mini-van kind of love. (I must interject here and now that I have never been a mini-van mom. Fine for some, but I just can’t do it!) I would cry myself to sleep every now and then, just because of that void… That “something” that was missing.
I always carried a torch for HH, but took comfort in my stable, non-passionate kind of love marriage. Well if you want to make God laugh, make plans. I thought I was safe in my scuffy slippers of a life, and wound up a divorcee` with 2 little boys.
HH and I grew up in a small town and have a tight knit group of friends. We always knew through the grapevine what was going on with the other. And our timing was always wrong. When my marriage was falling apart, he was just getting married. When his marriage was falling apart, I was in a relationship. Long story short (oh! too late!) our timing was finally right.
We met up again at a HS reunion and started talking and visiting. We tentatively resumed our relationship, older, wiser, and chaperoned by 3 little boys. He tells me that he figured out our split and reconciliation: since everything was so great with Me, his first serious girlfriend, how awesome must everything else out there in Girlfriend Land be?! (He seems sincere enough, so I really do buy this excuse.)
He never proposed. We just knew we were getting married. On a Wednesday he said, “Does Friday night work for you?”
Yes! He had a judge meet us in a park, in view of the jungle gym, so we could keep an eye on the kids. We got married under a tree, wearing jeans and sweaters and ordered Taco Bell for our wedding feast. Six months later we had a big, blow-out party to celebrate and eleven months after that, we had our bouncing baby bundle ‘o Grant.
I’m grateful that I have a great marriage, and the peace of mind that comes with it.
I’m grateful that my relationship skills were developed because of and specifically for this man. (Because no one else could put up with me.) I’m grateful that HH knows that there is no one else who could put up with him and he loves me as much as I love him.
I’m grateful that even when we fight (and we totally do) that there is still no one I would rather be with.
I’m grateful that the worst day with him is better than the best day without him.
I’m grateful I no longer have that hole in my heart where true love should be, and if I’m crying myself to sleep it’s because my sciatica is flaring up again.
Most of all, I am grateful that God allowed me to appreciate HH more, because I have life without him as a basis for comparison. It’s great when hindsight allows you to see what God had planned all along.