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Category Archives: boys

New place, New moment.


“Ya know something good about being old? Ya just don’t care anymore. You’re lucky, Mom. KBYEEE!”dropping off L. at school in slippers I still remember this sentence coming from my sweet seven-year-old’s mouth, and at the time I was horrified because I knew exactly what he was talking about. He had decided, based on my unkempt presence that day, that I was old enough to not care if I wore shoes or slippers, or even day-time clothes to take him to school. (I had also forgone the bra and makeup that hectic morning, which just made it worse.) He hugged me quickly, jumped out of the car, and thought no more about it.

I went home and ate some chocolate.

That was during my chaotic time as a stay-at-home mom of three boys, one husband, and a household to boot. It was when Elementary School and the ultimate homemade lunch was all consuming for me. Shoulds ruled my life. I SHOULD be a part of PTA. I SHOULD be a better cook/wife/mom/container gardener/scrapbook-er. I SHOULD be put together, somehow. I would SHOULD all over myself regularly, but at least I had my youth. I was twenty-seven at the time, and was pree-ty proud of myself for surviving any given day.

I just felt tired constantly, that’s all.

Now L. had no idea he wasn’t complimenting me. There was real admiration in his words that day. All he knew was that I spent time with him each school day approving some semblance of an outfit for him, but lucky me, I got to wing my wardrobe. And that was something to look forward to. It’s been fifteen years since he bounced off to school after dropping that bomb, and it’s taken me until I reached the ripe old age of forty-two to agree with him.

Now L. was talking about clothing choices, but I am thinking of the SHOULDS.

I never did buy in to the PTA. Or scrap-booking. I just let ’em go, somewhere along the line. Probably in my Thirty’s. I worked on being a better mom/wife/container gardener, and I’d say there is good improvement, but room for more. But I have outgrown the SHOULDS, for the most part. They are exhausting, demanding, and unrealistic, and who has room for those things AND uncomfortable bras?

Just sayin.

I say I am now old enough to start loving the skin I’m in. And shoes? I am old enough to be happy with my choice of shoes, slippers or not, no matter who’s looking, but that could just be because my shoes are of a bit better quality now, and therefore comfy. I dunno. Let’s just call ’em investments. But while I am on the subject of age, let’s get to the good stuff. I am old enough to make myself a priority, and it looks like this:

  1. Aloette skin care product lineSkin Care. I’m not talking about using the same lotion my husband uses for his callused feet. Nope. I mean my own stuff. The good stuff. With words like Moisturizing Beads, Soft and Silky Radiance, and Satin-ee Serum. (I am not doing the Plumpers, Pouty-Faces, or Lashes-For-Miles. Let alone Age-Defying anything. I’m no Betty White, for crying out loud.)
  2. crab-legsCrab legs. Spiders of the sea. Bottom Dwellers. Whatever you wanna call em, I’m a fan, and I am old enough now to splurge a bit for a lunch or three. I frequent Joe’s when I want to sit in the sun by myself, open up my laptop and write in peace and quiet. Scotty the bartender knows me by name, and he knows that when I ask for extra cherries with my Coke, what I ACTUALLY mean is an entire bowl full of cherries. “Because life is like a bowl full of cherries. Maraschino, even.” Scotty says it, and I believe him now.  I tip him well, just for that.
  3. nap with slippersNaps. The greatest part about being old enough for my kids to get themselves up and out the door for school/work is my naps. KA-CHOW, SUCKAHS! While my kids are out using their boundless youth for things like curling luscious teen-age hair for hours on end, or screwing up their 20’s with rash decisions, I am watching them walk out the door with glee, just to book it back upstairs to climb into my very soft, very luxurious bed. With a push of a button, I enjoy a massage at zero gravity while listening to the sounds of ocean waves from Alexa, the electronic robot that husband ordered from Amazon.
  4. bliss-out-yoga-pose-vivian-neoFinding my bliss. I know, I know. My kids and my husband are my bliss. They are, actually. But I have time, now, to enjoy a hobby/job/cause that brings me joy in addition to them, and so I hone my education and skills at being a Financial Coach, renew my annual pass at the Rec Center for Deep Water Aerobics where I am the youngest one in the class, and Write about whatever the heck makes me smile or cry.
  5. lady cryingCrying Whenever I Darn Well Please. Nope, I don’t turn away if my kids come in the door. Or my husband. Or a stranger. I’ve been through some SSS….tuff. I’ve earned the right to be authentic, and nuts to whomever feels uncomfortable about it. I went a lot of years pretending that “It is no big deal”. Whatever the deal was, it was imperative that I didn’t upset the kids. Or anyone else. Well, that phase is done, and they all have big kid panties they can put on. I know, because I gave them as Christmas gifts.

You will notice that cooking classes have not made it onto my list.

So now I am older than 27, and I found 7 gray hairs last week alone. I pulled them out immediately, of course, as I’m not ready to be Betty White, but I realize that I am more fine with them than I was before. I think it is because I simply didn’t know that it could get good. Getting older, I mean. I didn’t really think that becoming a little calmer, wiser, happier, and having a little fatter pocketbook could balance out the start of wrinkles and gray hair, along with a few more lady lumps.

In the youthful years, I did not take into consideration the look that so many parent’s of 20-something’s have on their faces. I didn’t recognize that small, knowing, smile that the oldsters would give me as I passed them in the halls of church, or in a park, or at a store. I thought those faces were smiling at me because they envied my youth and ability to keep it together at 4 pm, in spite of having 3 boys, a stroller, and a dog as my entourage.

Nope. Not even close.

Those 40- and 50-something parents couldn’t care less that I had water bottles for hydration, snacks that were organic, and that I had just managed to have my oldest son hold on to the pet leash AND his terror of a younger brother without having an all-out brawl. In fact, they probably glazed right over the drama and smiled simply because they knew that once I survived that part, I could partake in what they were on their way to do: Go have a conversation that had nothing to do with kids or bills. It was an encouragement smile, tinged with just a bit of relief that they didn’t have to get involved. It was a placeholder smile, just waiting for me and my entourage to move past them so they could high-five each other and say, “We’re out of that phase! Hallelujah!” and then head on over to find something to do that had nothing to do with surviving the day.

Who knew that was an option? I certainly did not, as I let L. out of the car that day so many years ago. It was a hope, but not a certainty, all vague and foggy, and as I learned that I was no longer as young as a youth, it let me start revving up for the good part. The Today’s.

I’m older, sure. But not old. Old, I have decided, is just about 20 years older than I am at any given moment. And when I am Betty White old, maybe I will look to change my passion to acting.

And then they can make a Bobble-head of me, too.betty white bobblehead doll preview

 

 

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Of grieving, living, and fruit…


It’s February now. I have not been back Home to see mom since dad passed away.  I call her every few days, or at least weekly, but it is all small talk, and we never bring him up.

I cry, without fail, after I hang up with mom, but somehow never allow myself to show sadness to her directly. I usually call my youngest sister within that hour. For whatever reason, I can grieve only with her. She lives close to mom and sees her every day.

I feel jealous, or maybe envious, of her.

Sometimes I feel guilty for being alive when my loved one is gone. I mean, I know he was 73 when he went, and he had a very full life and … Blah, blah, blah…I still just wish I could see him, and talk with him again.

i guess this is grieving, right?

for a while, I didn’t let myself cry. Like it would betray his life. Or his memory, I guess. Like I am supposed to remember only the good. He passed away with family and loved ones surrounding him. He was a good man that left behind a legacy of kindness and service. He was a good chess player and advice giver. Stuff like that.

now I cry when I think of him. Or when I don’t think of him first, but then forget I should be thinking of him. I cried on his birthday, and on Christmas. I will cry on my moms birthday.   I am crying now.

it feels good. To have my eyes leak about him. I don’t fully sob, yet. Let’s be clear about that. When I say I cry, I screw up my face and let the tears come, holding in the sobs for another time. I will cry later, I say.

This is how I grieve. Amid live, I guess. I mean, life goes on.That is cruel, sometimes, that life moves and swirls around tragedy and pain. I still notice that the sun comes up. There is still beauty in the world. My kids still need me. I still eat and sleep and watch the latest episode of Downton Abbey.  And, I still smile.

many things stay the same and are all the sweeter for it. The alarm sounds at 7 a.m. On school days. My husband and I go to Pho on Mondays for lunch. My son sakes for the car, and to stay out late, like clockwork. I can count on those things.

but then there’s the fruit.

odd, but my fruit changed. All of a sudden, and for the first time in my life, our fruit bowl is not full of fresh fruit. It is not arranged with apples, oranges and bananas that get eaten for the first week, and then are left to spoil, only to be thrown out and changed all over.

something as ingrained as fresh fruit has been changed to fruit in a cup. Fruits in cups? Eh… You know what I am saying. Those single servings of mini oranges, mangos, and peaches, all diced and covered in light syrup. Or heavy syrup, if I can find it. (I haven’t found it yet, but am still on the hunt.)

so about 20 fruit cups get deposited every 2 weeks, and are completely devoured, every time.  No one says a word about the change. They just get gobbled up. Why this matters to me is that it is something I have let go of. I don’t know if this is a phase, or it is a new tradition. A tradition of having teens and adults indulge in what is traditionally a kids thing, every day, and fooling ourselves into pretending it is healthy as fresh fruit.

I guess I realize that life is too short to stand on principle alone. Think outside the box, for gosh sakes, at least for a while.  So I coddle my kids when they have food poisoning, instead of leaving them with more room to barf in peace. (They are teens now, I would have figured. They don’t want me smothering them when they are this old.) again, they don’t say a word about it. They just let me in, and coddle me back, I guess. We never speak about what the changes mean, or when they started, but we all know. We all know that when a loved one passes away, some rules just don’t matter.

some customs, and traditions shore us up, but others, like affection and fruit, can be improved upon.

 

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An Update…


Dad passed away on October 7th. Just 2 weeks ago now.
In some ways, it feels like years.
In other ways, I am still in the middle of it.

I see the sunshine seeping in my parents kitchen window. It’s about 2:00 PM, and it’s just that right temperature of warm but not too warm.  I still hear dad breathing hard in the other room, from his hospice bed. He is in the very last hours, and 2 of us kids hold his hands at all times. It’s not my turn. (When it is my turn, I look forward to touching his warm skin, and looking at his face, knowing I won’t have very long to do that.) His breathing gets easier for a bit, then stops. We all count, as we have been told that an apnea can come at this time, stopping the breathing for anywhere from 15-45 seconds. …5, …10, …15, and he takes in a deep breath. We all take a breath, too, and continue our scrabble game.

Yeah, scrabble. We were playing a game while my father was dying. We had been looking over and after him for 5 days straight, and as neighbors, friends, and relatives came to say their goodbyes,  or dropping off cards and food and hugs, well at some point we just realized that it was ok to do something other than watch the man die. It didn’t mean we loved him any less. In fact, it was probably a relief for him to hear some laughter and gossip coming from the next room, like in old times. (You should probably know that dad got 5 daughters, and would lament, only half jokingly, that he had somehow upset The Lord for Him to punish dad with so many chattering, laughing, bickering daughters…)

So we went on with our game. QAT was my word, and I got it hooked to a double word score. Woot! And I did woot, right out loud.  We all looked at each other quickly, and then at dad in the other room. And our voices raised even more. It was almost a relief to remember that we were allowed to be living, while he was dying. It was odd, but during this vigil, we still ate meals, and hugged each other, and talked normally.

At first this all felt like a betrayal. How dare I sleep when I should be watching over this dying man! Right? And I could not imagine leaving his hospital bed, whether to go to the bathroom or for food, a walk outside, or to play a game of scrabble. Why should I go do these things when he could not?  I don’t know what I expected. I guess for us to be hush hush around him so he could labor in quiet…. I guess that was it.

Well, life is not tidy.

What happened instead was 8 siblings descending upon the Thornton home, from across all sorts of states, all in various stages of grieving. The one thing that didn’t happen was quiet. I was stupefied. The house of grieving flipped like a switch. We had a room of crying and whispering. A room of food prep and eating. Then we had a room of catching up and visiting. And, because we are Thorntons, that room turned into a room of laughter and loudness. In all rooms, reverence was gone.

It was the best thing that happened, in my opinion.  Where I had been moping and obsessing before, being exhausted beyond belief, there was now a life and energy renewed.  Instead of literally watching a man die to death, we provided a father and husband with family living and celebrating his life all around him.

We played board games in the kitchen, just a few feet from where his hospice bed was set up.  We played the piano where he could hear his favorite songs. We put Pandora on the iPad and let him listen to the “Tabernacle Choir” channel because he loved the music so much. And it worked

Whatever IT was.

IT spread through the house gradually. Through each room of sadness, IT seeped in and smiled the sadness away. Oh.  The IT was… Peace.

Peace spread through the house and household. It made it ok for us to laugh or cry. It made it ok for us to sleep in, or stay up all nigh with our sweet dad. Peace made it ok for dad to rally at the end, for us.  He came out of the labored sleep he was in, and acknowledged those who were there in the house. He said he loved hearing the music. He touched our faces and let the little ones give him kisses or high fives. He loved our laughter and talking which, he said, just sounded like LOVE.

And that was when I let go of the process looking a certain way.  I was not in charge, and neither was anyone else. Dad’s death was between him and The Lord. My only responsibility was to be part of the peace and love that was family.  And so I did.

He passed away peacefully, between one breath and another, with family around him.

 

Never Too Late…


6th Grade Math Book_4912

I’ve decided to get up out of bed (a very comfy bed with controls for your head and legs, I might add), and live life with a purpose today.  What does that mean to me? Being outward focused, so I called my daughters elementary school. Parents volunteer, right? I mean, I haven’t done it since my oldest son (now 21) was in elementary school, but still.  I guess it is time.  PTA, and all that, right?

I started out by asking if they (the 2 teachers of my daughter, who’s in 6th grade) would like some help in her class.  I was told that they have plenty of volunteers….except for during math. That should have been my red flag, right there, but I remembered that I enjoyed math (until my senior year in high school, I mean), so I said sure I would love to help out, not realizing what I was in for.

The nice lady teacher, Ms. Harding, let me know that they do math at 10:30 every day. She did not, however, sound very enthused that I would be coming in.  In fact, she didn’t specify when she wanted me to start, or what I would be doing, or anything.  So I asked if she really wanted help in this area, or was she just being nice to let me volunteer.  She said that she has a high turnover rate of parents and math.

Well! That sounded like a red flag…

I got nervous.  But would I tell her that? Nope. I’m a bit stubborn.

I said I would be there next week, and hung up the phone. This would give me time to spiff up my 6th grade math. (I haven’t used anything other than basic math skills for years.  It’s true. Don’t tell my kids.) And how hard could it be, after all? It’s 6th GRADE, for crying out loud!

Oh how the mighty can fall!

So this is me doing research online about what the 6th grade level math skills entail.  AND… I’m ticked. Good grief! I feel like I have no skills at all! I have forgotten how to solve for X, for starters. Let alone divide fractions! When did my head turn to mush?  I raised 5 kids and taught them how to tie their shoes, make their beds, cook, clean, and drive (Not my daughter, yet.  Just being clear…).

At what time did I trade in my scholastic education for the family education? Did I really let this happen?  And I’ll tell you what! I’m starting to panic. I almost, in my panic today, forget how to spell encyclopedia and Mississippi!  I ran through my math, science, history, and English highlights in my head, and it only took a few minutes! What the? Where’s the rest? I’m getting more and more despondent.  I realized that the more I texted the shortened versions of things like LOL on my phone, the less I think capitalizing and punctuation are important.  AAAAH!

By this time, I am sure that I am just minutes away from Alzheimer’s Disease. I hear that if I’m not expanding my knowledge, I am losing it, after all. I’m ready to lie back down!

So after I had a cup of hot chocolate and calmed down, I realized that all is not lost.  I put my cup away and hopped online. I typed in “6th Grade Math”, and there it was. All the info I needed to spiff up my skills. And when I get lost and have to look up what the FOIL method is? It’s right there too.

Whew!

Next, I went into grammar.  You know what? I didn’t lose those skills, I just forgot for a bit.  “I Before E, Except After C” does still hold true and make sense to me. Then Chemistry. The periodic table is still online if I need to cheat to find out what the symbol for Hydrogen is.  Tomorrow I will delve into history. Yep, history.   But first…

This whole path today led me to registering for free online classes from Texas University, Yale, and Berkley. Yeah, I said free. They are the same classes as people who are there, in person, but I get to piggy back and sit in for free. Oh I love technology.

Right now, I am learning about Pharmacy Drug Interaction phases. And am happy as a clam.

Thank you, volunteering process for 6th grade math. It got me out of my bed, led me on a merry chase, and put me all the way to the sofa, learning to love learning again. Even if I’m nervous about volunteering on Monday, I’ll be back in the right frame of mind.

And maybe I’ll stay and volunteer to eat lunch with my daughter.  I don’t really need to read up on that subject.  🙂

 

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Broken Up…


Chinese Food

My son went through some heartache today. His girlfriend of 3 and a half years just broke up with him.

He is very much a manly man, so he wasn’t in tears when I saw him. But I could see the pain on his face just as plainly as if he tears were running down his face. He looked tired. And shell-shocked. And… this was his first love.

I had no idea what to say to him.

I am his mom, and what I wanted to do was to hold him in my arms and stroke his hair and tell him that she was missing out by moving on without him.  What I did was eat a won-ton.  Because I was at lunch with my husband and bro. in law.

I thought to myself, “What comfort could these men possibly have for my son?” And, they did just the right thing.  They were quiet. they ate their Chinese food just as quickly as they did if they didn’t see that this guy was hurting. They talked about hunting, and target practice, and then quietly slipped in questions about what she said, or did, or didn’t do.

And he responded well to that.  It took everything I had to not jump into the conversation.  I ate my Tomato Beef dish and listened to every word. And it worked.

I was not the fixer in this situation. I was not the one that had the answer, and I was so grateful that these men could, in their manly way, open him up. I was clueless about how men, in their grunting, scratching, and crude jokes way, could comfort a man when what I wanted was to hug him.

A phenomenon.

So I was not needed today, And I was let into a secret man situation where, frankly, women have no business being.  Not because we don’t deserve to be there.  But because we would screw it up, just by being the comforting, attentive women we are.  And I trust the system, now.

I will stay away from their joking and story telling while they work on the cars. And I will not wait up when they watch questionable movies late at night.  And I will not step in when they have a problem and are eating instead of talking it out.

I will trust the system.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in boys, family, Son

 

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A Little Sun In Between Storms…


English: Blackbird in Crab Apple Tree. On a dr...

I almost feel new to this place. It has been so long since I have written, there is moss on the north side of my comfy chair.  The birds are warbling hesitantly outside my window as one winter storm passes, and a new one forms over the Rockies.  They sing just a little, on the branches of my crab-apple tree, then cock their heads as if listening for the ominous snowflakes that herald another foot-and-a-half-er.

I listen, too.

Then back to my iPad and on to the thought that has built up in me.  Why haven’t I written, I ask me. Well, says me, I haven’t had time.  I have been so busy. I have…. and the list builds up. The real answer is, however, just because I haven’t. Who cares, really? The writing is for me, and now here I am. The sun comes out, and I think that this time deserves my laptop time so I can really type fast. I realize I have things to say today. And out comes the laptop from its hiding place. I wipe off the dust, and boot it up, knowing I have neglected it, and issue a quick apology for it.

Sorry.

I haven’t written for a while because I have not felt like it, if the truth be known.  I have reminders set on my phone every day that let me know it is time to write for 15 minutes a day. I have ignored them for at least 2 months now. I have felt I don’t have anything to say. Which is silly because there is a lot to say.

Like The Thing. The sad thing. Someone close to me has Cancer. I’ve been in shock for a few days, as this is the first I have heard of the C word, but I have known something was wrong for about 2 months. They live far away, and I feel very far away now. You know how sometimes you can just pick up a phone and chat with someone and it is just like you are right there with them? Well, this is not that time. I feel sad, and I yearn to do …. something… to fix it, and I know I can’t.

I still call them, don’t get me wrong, and the conversation is good. A long, sincere talk. But I simply cannot take his hand and hold it now. I can’t see him smile when he talks about the good part of life. And I cannot see his face when he doesn’t hold it together for my sake. And I don’t think he should have to hold it together because he is on the phone with me.

In fact everything about the distance between us ticks me off. I have to use a phone or Skype to see him, well, it just blows. Mostly because I can’t touch his shoulder or hug him spontaneously. I hate that I get my news through a 3rd party, even well-meaning, because he is too tired to keep me up to date daily. I hate that I cannot just go pick up his mail, or vacuum his floor, or dust, or … any of a million chores that he is having a hard time with now. And my excuse is simply that I am far away.

I know that others do it for him, and that makes me sad, too. Even though I have leaky eyes when I write this, it is a relief to put it out there on the screen. It is a relief to say it out loud.

There is good news, as well, though.  Like…

 

My son Hayden wants to be a marine just as soon as he gets out of high school.  And no matter how I have ignored, patted him on the head, or tried to redirect him away from this decision, he has stayed true on this course. Nothing has made him waver.

So I started supporting him.

My son Hayden is now in Young Marines, and has turned into a recruit to be proud of. In spite of being in Boot Camp, with all the mud-crawling, miles-running, and yessir-ing he does, he holds his head high when he speaks. (His high and tight head, I might add. That is a mighty short hair cut, the military standards have…) Although he comes home from these trainings covered in mud and dirt, sweaty and exhausted, Hayden is happy, coming to the car with a smile on his face. He keeps his word in school and at home. He has a great attitude and is driven by the goals that the Young Marines have sparked in him. And he has bloomed. His teen-age grumpiness seems to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. He smiles. He laughs. He looks adults in the eye when they talk with him. I am proud of him. So that is something to write about.

(A squirrel moves past my window at eye level.  He looks right into my eyes as he nibbles on a branch. I instinctively to the shoo-ing motion at it, then stop as I see that he doesn’t care one whit. I just turn back to my computer…)

Lastly, I have the Boston Marathon Bombing to write about. I have feelings of heartache right along feelings of pride for both the citizens of Boston and police officers that put themselves in harm’s way to aid those that couldn’t help themselves.  I also am exhausted from staying up late night after night, watching the news and hoping for some resolution. I could have read or heard about it in the next morning’s news episode, but to me, it would feel a bit of a betrayal to go to sleep in my bed, all comfy and stress-free, when so many others could not do so.

Again, I feel far away, with no ability to help.  I hate that feeling.

The feeling of elation that happened last night, when the police were tipped off that the last suspect was hiding out in a boat in someones yard, all wounded and desperate…well, that finally seemed to burst a bubble in me, and I could let things go from there. The police apprehended the boy without me. The anchor man on TV reported it all just fine without me. The citizens in the town cheered and waved and loved the police… all without my help. I was able to turn off the TV, and the iPad, and let it go last night.

So now I finish my thoughts at noon, all snuggled down in my favorite spot for writing, and look out the window at my yard. It gives me mixed signals, based on the mixed signals of the weather. There is snow, drifted in all the corners of my yard, on the patio, and covering all my plants. We just finished a large storm that kept us inside for 30 hours. But today, the sun gives us better news. The grass is green and free of snow. The sun is out, and it is about 50 degrees, reaching its sunny hands into all the places that shadow doesn’t hold. Water is pouring off the roof and down the gutters, and it is a gurgling, happy sound.

I guess I have my mixed signals as well.  While I am saddened about some things that go on around and in my life, I have happiness to go with it, and I am grateful.  While I haven’t written and expressed my feelings and thoughts on here for a while, I have the ability and drive to do so today. Again, I am grateful.  Being back in the saddle is a good feeling. I have no idea how long it will last, but it is a good day. 🙂

 

 

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Aside

 

 

 

#ds469 - Fear, Dread, Neuralgia

I was asked to write about my strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness. The memory that pops up is one that still makes me cringe. It was something that made my stomach hurt, and my legs twitch. It felt surreal to me. I can’t remember who helped me get dressed that day or what was said, but before this happened, I was so sick inside that I couldn’t eat or drink. When the event came up I had a dry mouth and bad breath.

 

Not a good way to walk down the aisle to get married, eh?

 

Now, I know now that the man I married is my perfect companion, but it has taken every bit of the 21 years we have lived together to find that out. I love this man with all of my heart. He makes me happy, and I work every day to help him remember that he loves me, too.

 

We just had to grow up together to find that out.

 

Bride's veil close-upWhen we started the journey, I was 19 years old and had decided that he was NOT the man for me. So imagine my surprise when he wiggled on in to my heart, in spite of circumstance and opinion. Before I knew what happened, I was in an enormous veil (the moms-in-law had made it together as a token of their … support…), an off white, 2-piece wool suit-dress (It was to be something I was to wear later, over and over again), and a baby bump. Now don’t get me wrong. The man I was marrying was an amazing man. He was strong and confidant. He was attractive and charismatic. He was….18.

 

The nervousness came simply because I was walking down the aisle. The aisle that represented a few things:

 

1. The vows that say “Till Death Do You Part”? In my part of town, it meant, “FOREVER, Whether You Are Dead Or Not, There IS No Getting Out Of This.”

 

2.Once we were married, we would be OLD.

 

3. We have no plan as far as having a job, or an apartment, or a life plan. AAAAAHHHH!

 

Man, that was a long aisle.

 

So there I was, in my hideous veil and dress, feeling like this was a pretend day. Maybe a practice day. I knew that some friends and class-mates were there. I knew there was a bishop to officiate the occasion. Even Mr. Butcher, the music teacher, was there to offer the music. And I knew that I had a 2 tier cake from Soelberg’s, the small-town grocery store (they did a beautiful job.).

 

I had all these things lined up, and I still felt that this was pretend. In the room upstairs where I was to wait for “The Music” to bring me down the stairs and down the aisle, my pits wouldn’t stop sweating. My makeup was running at the corners of my eyes, and my heart kept pounding.

 

What was wrong with me? I had already decided to go through with it, right? I had made my list of pro’s and con’s (mom taught me to do that for every hard decision in life. It was a close list, but my loving the man at the end of the aisle kind of bumped it over). I was even told, “You made your bed, now lie in it.” (That was my Aunt Marlene. Man, I didn’t like her at the time…). This was a day I should have been happy, right? Nope. I was terrified.

 

Cold Feet

 

It didn’t occur to me that anyone else could have cold feet. I didn’t know there was a term, “Cold Feet“. Why should I? I wouldn’t normally be thinking of marriage at 19! Nevertheless, I had them big time. It just didn’t occur to me that any other woman, or man for that matter, could have questions like mine.  I just assumed I was the only one that couldn’t see the carpet under her feet, or the sunshine pouring in on this special day.

 

Thus the terrified look as I almost slunk down those stairs, then pushed my back straight, and walked down that path that brought me to him. To This. To Now.

 

I am so glad I went through my most terrifying moment. I am so glad I pushed through, instead of backing away. For me, I have spent my 20’s and 30’s with my best friend. We have gotten to see life as a couple. We have had some really scary, really hard, and really sucky times, but we have pushed through them. I think we got to push through them because we made the leap in the first place, to push through.

 

My man didn’t tell me until many years later that he had cold feet so bad he almost left me at the altar. Good for him. 🙂

 

 

 

That Worst/Best Memory…

 

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