Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Anomaly of a Long Lasting Marriage

As I sit here looking at the calendar on my wall, I can't help but smile. Tomorrow will be our wedding anniversary.....our 10th wedding anniversary. Some days I'm astonished at how quickly time has gone by, an amazed that when you peel away the layers of our life.....it really wasn't that hard.

Of course, we've had some insanely tough days in our marriage, but to be able to last 10 years almost seems like a record by the worlds standards. For those of you who don't know....I guess I'll give you a little backstory on Ross and I.

We met in the spring of 1996. My parents had convinced me to give up on a boyfriend that was not helping me be the wonderful person that they figured I could and should be. So,I took a job at a hotel in one of Alberta, Canada's most beautiful National Parks.

I had fun, met a LOT of new people from all over the world and basically wasn't focused on "relationships and dating". One day, I took my lunch break from my job at the front desk and went back to sit in the staff dining area. There was a boy sitting there who was about 12 or 13 years old eating penny candy out of a brown paper bag. I sat at the table behind him. He turned around and offered me some candy and I obliged him. He asked me my name and if I worked at the hotel. I answered him. He then asked me if I knew who his father was. I looked at him and said "No". He then told me, "Oh, well my dad is the chef here.......and he could kick your ass".

I looked at him in stunned silence for a minute, trying to decide if he was attempting to threaten me or if it was just for shock value. I have a little brother who is the same age as this kid and he will sometimes say things just to see what he can get away with. I then asked him why his father would want to do that to me, since I was a complete stranger. Suddenly this tall, and rather intimidating man, dressed in kitchen whites came out from the kitchen and said to the boy, "That's enough, Christopher. Leave this girl alone." He then proceeded to apologize for his son and we got to talking.

Now, I should rewind and say that while I was in Waterton (the name of the town), my life had taken a few turns to where I was no longer active in the Church and was not adhering to the words of wisdom or the law of chastity. (My reasons for leaving the church are a completely different story altogether that I will save for another day). Anyway, this guy asked what I was doing after work and we decided to meet at the hotel bar (the only place in town that had music and entertainment)for drinks and some games of pool. We had a great night and spent every evening after work together for the next three months.

At that time, the summer was coming to a close and many of the staff were being laid off from the hotel for the season. Not wanting our relationship to end, we decided to move to Calgary (his home town) and make a go of our relationship. Two months later, I found out I was pregnant with our first son.

Now you also have to understand that we were under pressure from both of our families with regards to our relationship. My family didn't like the fact that he was 10 years older than me, was not LDS, was a smoker, was twice divorced and had a 12 year old son. His family thought I was too young, unstable, flakey, and the whole "Mormon" thing about sent his Catholic mother over the edge.

But we persevered, and 6 months after our son was born, we were married. In fact, I recieved the engagement ring on my 21st birthday and we married 12 days later. It was nothing fancy. Which again, goes back to the things in my life I regret. We were married by a Justice of the Peace in her garage. No family, no party, no dress, no cake......nothing that was anything to do with the wedding of my childhood dreams. But, I guess, at least it was official and we were man and wife.

SO 10 years and three wonderful children, I don't think I would change much about how we've gotten here. Of course, there are the small things that we take for granted, or the pet peeves that we each overlook because we love eachother dispite our faults. And, although I don't care much for poetry, this one pretty much describes my feelings about us.......

I Carry Your Heart With Me
e.e. cummings

I carry your heart with me,
I carry it in my heart.
I am never without it.
Anywhere I go you go, my dear;
And whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling.
I fear no fate,
For you are my fate, my sweet.
I want no world,
For beautiful you are my world, my true.
And it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you.
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows;
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.....
And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart;
I carry your heart,
I carry it in my heart.


Ally Brown said...

What a neat story. I always love hearing the stories on how couples meet. I'm so glad to hear that after ten years (you have me beat by four) that you are still together and, mostly importantly, still happy. What a blessing. You must know just how envious your relationship is.
And the poem was SOO sweet! It got my pregnant self tearing up.

Ally Brown said...

Did I make any sense when I said, "You must know just how envious your relationship is."?
I meant there are so many people out there who would be envious to know that you have been married this long and are still planning on more happy years together.
Way to GO!

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