Papa and I have been married 17 years today. I was about to bombard you with pictures from our life together, but I decided to tell our story with words this time. Here you go...
2 days before our wedding
I met Mav when I was 15 at my very first gig, The Adolescents. He was 19 or 20 at the time and he and my older brother hung out in the same circle. That night he may have kicked me under the table or given me an extra glance. Somehow he gave me just enough attention to cause me to give him all of mine. I fell in a 15 year old girls' version of love. He really wasn't interested in me. I was young and his buddy's sister-although that probably didn't bother him too much. Soon after he went into the Army. I wrote to him EVERY day. (I get embarrassed for young me) He was home on leave for my 16th birthday and I saw him out that night. He was drinking with his friends and with a girl. I managed to get him alone for a little bit. Long enough for a kiss and him to say he loved me. (did I mention he was drinking?!) He also said he would miss me and that I shouldn't go out with any of the other loser guys. (the nerve!) Well it was what I wanted to hear, so I refused to look at it level headedly (can someone that age even do that?)
Again he left, and again I sent my letters, receiving maybe a handful in return. After nearly a year I slowed. I remember sending him a final letter where I inform him that when he someday returns, married, unhappy and full of regrets, I will no longer be interested. It was prophetic! (-except the I will no longer be interested part.)
Fast forward to me at 21. I have had my boyfriend for 4years and I'm out with a girlfriend. I see Mav and we chat. Yep, he's married, separated-but married. I remember telling my friend "we either leave now or it's all over, I'm so his." We stayed.
It was a very rough year that followed, the best and worst of my life. I was running from an abusive relationship and wanted him to rescue me. He wanted to have fun with me but made it very clear there were to be no strings attached. I agreed because I didn't want to push him. There were nights I left his apartment and cried for hours. I loved him, but he just didn't love me back. We were in a small social circle, so I would hear about-or worse, see him with other girls. My friends thought I was crazy, they hated me with him. I recognize that some people will have a hard time that he was still married. I saw him out with other women and knew of other relationships since his separation so the marriage really wasn't much of a concern to me. (Yes, I see it differently now) The thing about the marriage that gave me concern was knowing the last thing he wanted was to be stuck in another relationship. I gave him all the space he wanted.
Slowly, he began to change towards me. I watched as he recognized his love for me. He would fight it one day and give into it the next. Then one day he told me he loved me. We were walking in San Francisco and as he said it a homeless person began serenading us as we slipped in to an Italian cafe. It was very romantic. We still had a rough few months ahead of us. It finally took me breaking down and telling him he was like a vampire who was killing me a slow and painful death. (I am twisted enough to find that kinda hot-) I let him know I could not do it anymore. That changed everything. Within the month we had moved 400 miles away and had our own place. It was all I had dreamed of. He flew me to Hawaii to propose in October and we were married in November. As soon as we knew we wanted to be married we went through a spiritual awakening as we knew we had to change our path. I am not one to preach but I have to say without a new and growing faith we never could have survived. We have not had to face any of the above issues again in our 17 years. We had one heart breaking year and then we have had 17 fairy tale years. It was more than worth it. I would do it all over again.
When I look at our children, I believe I knew that first night we met that I had to have him and one reason was to have them.
So there is one facet of our story. Friends we have now have a hard time believing we haven't always been a perfect couple. Friends from then have a hard time believing we are even the same people. I guess we really aren't.