I watched him each day, not in a stalker like way, but in an I'm curious and want to know more way. He carried a blue Jansport backpack, and a quiet, contemplative disposition. I could tell he was much more than quiet though. I sensed passion, and a definite fire behind the silence.
The teacher of our small group communication class decided to count us off into groups. Before he began - I knew. I glanced all the way over to the other side of the classroom. I smiled and to myself I said, "I bet we'll be in the same group, and ours will even be my favorite number - 4.
What the hell was wrong with me?!?! Who was this guy, and what was he doing to me?
1...2...3...4. I watched as the teacher weaved back and forth through the rows. He finally got to his 1...2...3...4. We were a group.
I knew. How? Especially so early on. You know the feeling when you just do. Well, never before had I been so sure.
It was both the big and super simple. Simple such as these - for all my life, I've had severe problems with keys. One day I was sitting on the curb next to my white Honda CRX when he walked up and asked what I was doing? "Waiting for my roommate to bring my spare keys." I answered. He sat down to keep me company as I waited for my friend Summer. He later asked if he could make me dinner at my apartment. He not only cooked an entire Italian meal, but also cleaned the kitchen, swept the floor, and took the trash out. I was sold! Hook, line and sinker!
It wasn't long before this 22-year-old girl and that 19-year-old boy moved in together. We lived, laughed, and loved. We then fought, broke up for 8 months, and got back together.
We then got engaged, planned a wedding, bought a house, and in our first year - while everyone else is maybe in their honeymoon phase - we fought. A lot. We argued about what seemed like everything. We had a lot of fun in between the fighting, but... my gosh, it was a wild first year!
We soon found our flow. We began to realize certain things just didn't matter and weren't worth the argument. We learned to go easy on each other. We decided to let each be exactly who we are - together, and separately. I stopped screaming about how the dishes
were supposed should be loaded in the dishwasher ; ) and just rearranged it if I didn't like it...because that's my thing, not his. I realized that same philosophy applied to many other areas too. With each passing year we became better, and stronger and have never looked back. We definitely enjoy our marriage much more than in those early years.
When we hit the skids with infertility, the adoption process, and my bonding issues - we learned about each other and ourselves more than ever. We had some very difficult times throughout, but not with each other. We now knew to always put each other first. Often times, I remember glancing over and flashing back to that 19 year old flannel shirt wearing, backpack campus crossing cutie and thinking, "Dang, he's everything I'd hoped for. He's loading up needles and shooting them into me. He's quiet and smiling while I sometimes rage from what he knows are these insane fertility drugs pulsing through my veins. He's calm, cool, and collected as we handle the most insane process to this sweet girl sent from above. He's gentle, loving, and goofy as he whisks her off after a full day of work so I can regroup after a day of my own. He's everything. And the best part...he's mine."
I had no idea, but all those years of love, challenges, and even the early on fights - well, they were merely building blocks. They were slowly preparing us for the big one. I’m beyond grateful for all those gradual lessons. For learning to break up, and make up. For the all out brawls, and learning to always come back together. For learning that when the rubber truly hits the road, we are one, a united front, and face every obstacle as such.
Today is our anniversary - lucky number 13. We are celebrating in Lake Tahoe - our very favorite place. The place where we began 13 years ago today.
When I look at Dave I see the same person I saw in class that day. He’s quiet, contemplative, and passionate. He's driven, yet wild. He's everything I wanted that day, today, and all the days in between.
But back then; my 22-year-old self could never have stretched my mind to see a future such as ours. The vision I painted was much different... we were married; I, a stay at home mom to our two kids (a boy first, then a girl) both of whom we loved madly. We had many animals and lived in Lake Tahoe. Together, we shared a life similar to the one I had growing up in the woods. We loved deeply, and lived greatly. Nice, right? Naive...
No one daydreams of tragedy, or even believes something such as this could happen to them. Never would I have thought the pages from our story could or would read like this. But the truth is, I still love our story. I love it dearly. I wouldn't trade it. Not for a second. Even though there's a certain section that's rather short, it stands alone, and will brightly color all the remaining. Whichever the moment - up high, or down low, in the end...beauty was spanned across these pages.
I love how we each love Aviana in our own unique way, but we are together sealed by the most unbreakable bond with her. There was never a moment I tired of seeing the way Dave loves, cares, and provides for each of us. He is the most unbelievable man. I had an idea of who he was, but never could have truly known until I saw him go through all he has in these past five years especially. When I slide into his shoes for a moment, my love, admiration, and appreciation grows a million-fold.
Thoughts run rampant ~
He never had any fertility issues, and was nothing but supportive - always.
He didn't have bonding issues. He and Aviana were like glue from the start.
It wasn't his family who was walking Aviana across the street that day. Did you know at first he was mad...because he lost her. He quickly realized it was an accident and forgave, and loves my mom and Gary very much... but still. I so admire him.
He would work all day long, and without missing a beat, walk straight through the door, hug and kiss our Meek, our pup, and me and it was straight in on therapy. After therapy, we had the huge task of cooking all that 'green' until we went to sleep. All to wake up and do it over...7 days a week.
He would spend his vacation days at the brain injury institute learning how to rehabilitate.
He always makes sure I'm taken care of - have I gone out with my friends enough? Is there anywhere I want to go? Is there anything I need? Am I okay? He's always checking in. Thanking me for all I've done around the house, for Aviana, Kama, and Rainey. When I'm sad, he doesn't try to fix, he just listens, and hugs me if I'm crying. He always knows when to throw in the perfect crack to break the mood and make me laugh. He knows I need to laugh!! He knows! He knows!
I never hear him complain. He just does. He knows what's right, what needs to be done. What's good for the soul. He's the best I've ever known.
Life didn't turn out exactly how we thought. Many years ago, Dave got Lasik and doesn't wear glasses anymore. No really, I do believe he said it best. A piece of his heart is gone and will never be replaced. There's a part of him, which will never be happy. I couldn't have said it any better. It's true. I feel the exact same way. In every part of my day, there is a piece, which will never find true happiness because she's gone. But at the same time, because she was here, and because she changed and rearranged everything about us - we can take what's left of both our hearts and lives and enjoy what we have that much more.
Lucky number 13. We have some awfully special ones watching over us. I have a great feeling for what's to come.
Three for Thirteen : )
When this song first came out, I heard it and immediately thought of Dave. He is...
Yes. Yes. Yes.