An Ode to 10 Years

 

Growing up, I used to watch my parents kiss goodbye and hello, everyday, no matter what argument they had. My Father constantly told us the story of how he wooed my Mother, how he knew instantly she was the one. They cried together, fought hard, and loved each other until the very end. When my Father died, I was single and unsure about love in general. For the next 3 years, I dated on and off, partied, ignored my health, partied some more, and then, like a rude wakeup call, I decided it was time to take my health seriously.

I began to cut out everyone out of my life, and focused on going to the gym, studying, working, and what I was putting in my mouth. I decided, to date myself. My routine was clockwork, I didn’t go out, except with colleagues, or to the gym. I didn’t drink, I just read, watched movies, and studied. I began to research where I would move to. The moment I started putting applications into New York and Boston, I was introduced to a handsome man at the gym. He had a gorgeous smile, a beautiful voice, and an incredible laugh that slipped out easily through conversations. I had seen him for a year at the gym. I wasn’t interested, At All. I was focused on me, what would I need a relationship for. The moment we met, there was something different, something electric, something unbelievably comfortable.

We began with short conversations, then the conversations became longer on the stairmaster. Then he asked me to meet him for a run. I was still unsure, wanting to keep him at arm’s length, not sure I wanted this.

Our first date, pretty much sealed my fate.

I knew what my Father meant when he said he knew my Mother was it. I had that same feeling when I met my husband. Even though, I had been grappling with the feeling that I was unworthy of love, at least the kind of deep love that you fought hard to keep. Yet, there he was, the man who I knew instantly I had to love, love hard, laugh with, have insane adventures, and grow old with.

No matter how many times I have tried to run away from us, terrified that he is my anchor, that he doesn’t really love me. He stays steady, anchoring me once again. His love for me, still baffles me, still to this day, makes me wonder if it is all a dream. I knew, from the moment we started talking, that I would fall for him, and fall hard. That the love that I have for him, would never fail me, and would only grow deeper.

I didn’t really understand just how deep it could get, until I gave birth to our son. I still remember him leaning over me, holding one leg up, telling me that I could do it, that I was incredible, strong, and would be a wonderful Mother. He gave me the strength to push through the intense pain (I didn’t have an epidural), and to push one last time. When our son was put on my chest. I watched my husbands eyes fill with love like I had never seen. It was at that moment, I fell even harder for him.

2 weeks after giving birth, I would find myself lying in a hospital bed, after a D&C that went horribly wrong. My husband was lying on a mattress on the floor, our baby was nowhere to be found. Every machine was beeping in the room, and there was my husband, curled up on the floor, still wearing the same clothes from the day before. He looked exhausted, older. The moment he realized I was awake, he jumped up, came to the bedside to give me the biggest smile, and a soft kiss. He knew from the look on my face, that I was becoming frantic, I wanted to know where my baby was.

He squeezed my hand and said that my daytime nurse was outside cuddling with him, giving us a little quiet time.

The 7 days I was in the hospital, he was always there, sleeping on the floor, holding our son when i couldn’t, attempting to get answers from the doctors, going on quickly to get something to eat, sneaking in treats. Holding onto my hand when I couldn’t do anything but cry in pain. He never, and I mean never ran.

My Father once said, that love isn’t one big romantic gesture, it is all the tiny little things and shared moments, that build an intense love and relationship.

I love that my husband still to this day opens the car door for me.

He holds my hand, even under the table in a restaurant.

He gives me a knowing nod when we are in a difficult situation, but can’t get out of it.

When we would go up to the cottage when we were first together, he would wake me up early with a tea in a travel mug, and force me in a canoe and take me out for a paddle when no one else was even up.

When we decided that we were going to live, and live hard after almost losing my life. He began researching every hike we could do, and every trip we could take. We were going to take the world by storm. We started slow, my recovery was long and painful, he cheered me on, he found easy hikes, then began planning crazier adventures.

We have been married for 10 years, and together for 15. I have never wanted anyone else, or felt I was lacking anything. He has been nothing short of a devoted husband, an absolutely loving and giving father, and a man who has built 2 businesses and written a book, all in his spare time. I am always in awe of him, his intelligence, his drive, his devotion and his ability to always try to make himself better, inspiring me to make myself better.

There is no one that challenges me, drives me nutty, makes me laugh harder, makes me love harder than my incredible husband. To this day, I truly believe that my Father had some hand in the universe pulling us together.

I hope, there are many more adventures, many many more years ahead of us.

Dip Kid

 

 

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Purging

 

Let’s talk about stuff!I Do you feel happy in your living space?

I never did.

From the start of the time my husband and I began living together, we somehow inherited stuff. My Mother would show up with a painting or a carpet, with a story, and somehow I had to be grateful that I got a fancy carpet from a far off land, or a painting from a street artist in Mexico who my parents adored and bought 6 paintings from. My in-laws would show up with a chair, or a whole sideboard that my husbands grandfather had built, and well, it didn’t fit anywhere else, so we were supposed to house it.

All of these things, began adding up. We packed our 2 bedroom apartment and moved west. We purged once. Then it started again. We began collecting, collecting, I am not sure what, but with baby, dog and new hiking adventures, our tiny 2 bedroom condo swelled. We then got a storage locker!

The storage locker housed antiques (that damn lady’s chair went there), and so did a whole china set. As our son went through stages, his stuff went into storage… Then, we decided to move back east. We purged again, but I don’t think the purging went well. We moved with a full 20 foot container.

We were excited to move into a house, and finally have space. Then it happened. One trip to Ikea, and the house began to fill again. My Mother started arriving with paintings, and odd pieces of furniture. My in-laws could drive to us, and began giving us a chair here, a chair there. Our house became the dumping ground of crap no one else wanted, including us, but we were supposed to be grateful that we had a chair to sit on, or a chair to stare at.

We moved again. This time, we couldn’t purge, and we moved into an even bigger house. Shelves filled, we inherited more stuff, and somewhere, I got more anxiety, and hated the space.

We needed to change.

As I looked around the house, nothing reflected us, our personalities, or what we were about. We had antiques, Ikea furniture, odd bedding, books, pewter picture frames… it just seemed endless. With all that stuff, we missed out on a couple of trips, because well, we bought stuff instead of experiences.

Since we were renting, we thought 4 years of this is enough. We were done being surrounded with crap.

In a haze, I started dumping things in the middle of the room. I didn’t want to be surrounded by a past that wasn’t mine, or other people’s guilt of not keeping things.

The more stuff we began to get rid of. The more free I felt, the happier and lighter I became. I simply wanted to start over.

We decided to move into a tiny 1956 bungalo, and bring everything that made us happy, nothing more. So far, I have 2 weeks left of purging one house and moving into the the other. In total, we have made 25 trips to Salvation Army, and had one load go to a neighbour, and one load go to Habitat for Humanity.

I am stunned with what we are left with.