The day in that high school where I stomped through the halls furiously because my date to the girls ask guys dance just told me he was taking his friend instead of going with me changed my life forever.
He stood there looking through the graduating classes of years before. Who knows why he was really out there when he probably should have been in class just like I was supposed to be.
“Are you going to the girls ask guys dance?”
In true Dale fashion, “Pffftt, no”
“Well, you are now. You are going with me.” I said it sure and didn’t give one ounce of an option for him to decline.
It was out of character for me. I wasn’t one to take a stance and just jump out there like that especially when it had to do with boys.
I can’t remember a lot of details about the dance. Neither one of us are big dancers. But I remember what he wore from the wing footed necklace to the cologne to the Air Jordan shirt to the Air Jordan’s on his feet.
From that day it has been us. There was no turning back.
Sixteen years we have been together, nine of those married. Sixteen years of laughter, love, heartbreak, faith, living dreams, working hard, arguing, fighting, making up, tears, sweat, believing in each other, trusting, rebuilding, and getting stronger.
Around this time last year we were going through a really rough time. We had just lost his dad and we were learning how to move on with life when such a major part of it was gone. Things were hard. I didn’t know where we were headed or how we would come out of it all. It wasn’t just us affected. It was him and me and his mom and his sister, aunts, uncles… his entire family. We all were learning how to deal with this and a lot of people were looking at him for a source of strength. That added pressure and drama and more walls. Pile a new baby on top of it all.
We were stressed, tired, drained in every possible way. Life didn’t stop when we needed a break. It was a true test to marriage and in what kind of person you are in general.
Things aren’t perfect. But we are stronger than we have ever been. We talk each night when we get home which was a far cry from going through the normal stuff that deals with kids, and routine, and what the next day’s schedule holds. We do date nights. Not enough but we do them. In a moment of parenthood stress we are able to make eye contact and be on the same page instead of me glaring at him making it seem as if it is all his fault somehow.
We are good.
And that feels so good. Today is truly a day to celebrate for us. We are happy and I can honestly say that without hesitation.
As I read through my post from last year it brings tears to my eyes. Looking back it seems so much worse than what I remember. How times have changed. We’ve come a long way; me, him and our marriage. Thank you to each one of you that have played a part in our marriage. To those who have showed support and love to us by cheering us on or praying silently for us thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I’m sure we will have rough patches again. Who knows, I might get really mad at him tonight : ), but I know that we will be ok. I know that we are strong and where our commitments are and I know who’s behind us for the duration.
Happy 9 years to us! Next year about this time we better have our feet up on a beach in Hawaii with a few special friends! I mean it!