Every time my husband and I talk about the beginning of our relationship we always have to stop ourselves from saying the phrase... "when we first met" and change it to, "when we first started dating. We have to do this because long before we started dating, we had known each other from Jr. high school. My husband and I were in 7th grade math class together with Mr. Holp. We had many mutual friends and I remember him being one of the nicest boys out of all the one's I knew. When we got to high school we ended up hanging out in the same group of friends and most of my memories from that time he shares as well, although he has a much better memory than I. We must have recognized the potential between us because around our junior year we decided to go out on a few dates. We agreed (or he would say that I decided) that we were better off as friends and continued our friendship without letting the few dates we had get in the way or make things uncomfortable. Senior year along with prom and graduation came and went as did our goodbye.
We both went to the same college and I remember seeing him one time on campus. I was sitting on the mall lawn reading and people watching when I looked in a certain direction and saw a guy coming my way with a very familiar walk and it ended up being him. By the way, most of his friends will agree that with his walk you could point him out a mile away. He stopped and we talked for a short time just catching up and then we were both on our way. After that we saw each other once at a bar that most college students frequented and chatted for a bit there, but after that we pretty much both fell off each other's maps.
Many years went by as did a few relationships for the both of us. He crossed my mind any time I drove by the street where he lived but no contact had ever been made between the two of us. Until one afternoon... I was checking my email and to my surprise I had an email from him. In disbelief I opened the email and read on to find out that he had found my email on Classmates.com... He had enlisted in the United States Army and had already served one tour in Iraq. This was post 9/11. I replied to his email asking him how he was and letting him know what I had been up to over the recent years. A few more emails were exchanged and he told me that he was going to be home on leave for a short time and was having a bonfire party at his parents house and invited me and a mutual friend to go. When I attended the party we both had our significant others with us... The moment I saw him with this girl I knew it wasn't right and that he deserved someone much more appreciative of what he had to offer. We did some catching up, the party ended, and we again said our goodbyes unsure of when we would see each other again. He was on his way back to Iraq for his second tour and I wished him a safe return.
About a week or so after the party I received another email from him asking if he could write me while he was in Iraq. Having absolutely no expectations I of course said yes... for I was not about to tell a U.S. Soldier who was fighting for our country that he could not write a friend while at war. I did however know that the relationship I was in at that time was not going so well and I was unsure of what address I would be at by the time he mailed his letter. So I gave him both the address I was currently living at and my mother's address... where my intuition told me I would soon be. By the time I received his first letter I was no longer in the relationship I was in and I was in fact living back home with my mother. I received his first letter on Valentine's Day.
We wrote each other often... with a few emails in between to validate his safety. Our letters were full of honesty, memories, stories and eventually romance... we truly fell in love with each other through our words alone. When the time came near for him to come home we couldn't wait to see each other and talk with each other. He called me shortly after he got state side and before we knew it he was coming back home on leave. We spent every waking moment together and considered ourselves a couple the moment we saw each other. Time of course went fast and he was on his way back to Georgia where he was posted. We continued our letters but added in many phone calls and once he flew me out to spend the weekend with him. He showed me around the Army post and we went to Savannah creating memories never to be forgotten.
When it came time for him to be discharged there was no question or doubt about us moving in together, so we did. The following three months happened very quickly and in flashes. I'm not quite sure exactly what order the following happened but I'll try and list them in the order I remember. He got a job working with troubled teens which he ended up being let go from due to him injuring his knee. He would soon recover from this injury and necessary surgery but they found it to be too much of a liability in the mean time. He was able to find a job with a bank that found no problem in sitting him at a desk while he recovered. Things were looking up... and then... they weren't. I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer at the age of 25. The doctor who diagnosed me said to us... "If you HAD to have cancer... THIS is the cancer to have". I guess that was his was of telling me that it wasn't a death sentence. Well for me... I'd just rather not have cancer. The next six months weren't pretty... the doctors in our area were just not educated in Thyroid Cancer treatments. I had a total of three surgeries and when they said they wanted to open me up for a fourth time that's when we said ENOUGH! I had heard someone mention MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX and how it was the best place to get treatment... so my mother and I boarded a plane and flew to Texas.
Treatment in Texas was impeccable... they vindicated my hesitation in continuing treatment where I was from and put me on the correct path to healing. But not before a major surgery. A surgery that would take seven hours and have doctors digging around in my neck, caring not to damage major nerves, arteries and vocal chords, trying to remove all the infected lymph nodes that the cancer had spread to. My husband, who was only my boyfriend at the time, felt it necessary that he have a much bigger role during the course of this upcoming surgery, so he proposed a couple of weeks before my scheduled surgery... and I, of course, said yes. My fiance sat in the waiting room those many hours during my surgery, sat by my bedside during my long recovery, helped me shower, brushed my hair, fed me and did everything and more that husbands do not usually have the burden of doing till they are in their 80's I assume. The surgery had left me unable to move my head in any direction, without the use of my right arm, and in agonizing pain. The recovery was brutal and I don't even want to imagine what it would have been like without him by my side.
Though it took many months, life very slowly began to hint towards normalcy and eventually I was able to begin planning our wedding. Through all of this I continuously asked my fiance if he was sure he wanted me... damaged goods... unsure of what the future would hold regarding my illness. Yeah sure it's "the cancer you want if you have to have cancer"... but it's still the "C" word and who knows when it could rear it's ugly head again in the future. But he assured me that I was what he wanted... "You're my slow motion girl" is what he said to me... referring to those scenes in movies where the guy sees the girl he loves coming around the corner then everything stops and she continues on in slow motion. That's how much this man loves me, I thought to myself... and I love him right back.
The rest is not so much history but more like a sequel in the making... my husband has now acquired his dream job and I mine. We have a beautiful baby boy and maybe a few more will be running around here before we know it. We take nothing for granted and treasure every second we have together. Don't get me wrong... things aren't always perfect... but we LOVE the one we're with, we learn from our mistakes, and we KNOW... it's him and me... always and forever.
~ Be Magical!