His Last Before 30

Thursday, March 25, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

Tomorrow is my husband's 29th birthday, and for those of you who are doing the math, yes, I am older by a year and a half. Jon is more than willing to gloat over our age difference and it usually involves a quick elbow to his rib cage.

But tomorrow also marks another anniversary, the day he asked me to be his wife. Has it really been nine years?!? Wow! You can read our engagement story by clicking here.

I found an essay I'd written a year after we'd married for a journalism class, it was a narrative essay and I chose to write about becoming husband and wife. I thought it appropriate to share here. It may bore some, but I love seeing my marriage through the eyes of being newly married. Its another reason I wish I'd started blogging earlier.

And Jon, Happy Birthday, my beloved! Our relationship is not perfect and we've had more than our share of moments, but I'm forever grateful to you, my best friend, my love, my better half, for sharing this life with me. And I so enjoy that after all these years, we still flirt like we did in high school. I love you!

"On May 31, 2002, I married my best friend, Jonathan David. I vividly remember walking down the aisle on my father's arm. It felt as though I was walking from the past into my future. My father's grip was tight on my arm, and he swallowed hard several times, as though to keep the tears from coming. I remember looking at him as it came time to "give the bride away" and our eyes exchanged a number of messages. He whispered "I love you" and put my hand in Jon's hand. I looked at Jon and knew I was embarking on an unknown journey.

The rest of the evening is hazy and very few details are remembered. The reception plays through my mind like a dream. Jon and I danced among our guests and received a number of salutations and well-wishes. We partook of the dinner and exchanged the appropriate kisses when the glasses were clinked. We had toasts offered up, and we cut the cake. I was never able to stop and take it all; I never was able to sit and think about the fact that I had just joined my life to Jon's life. In the few hours of celebrating, Jon and I were unable to fathom that after dating for four and a half years we were now husband and wife.

Jon and I traveled to Mexico for our honeymoon; we stayed in a town called Playa del Carmen in the Riveria Maya. Once we got to the hotel, we were ushered into a hotel suite where a bottle was waiting for "Mr. and Mrs. G"; the first time we had ever been addressed as such. We exchanged wondrous glances as we mulled over the new names. Laughingly, Jon pulled me into his arms and kissed me as he called me "Mrs. G".

Our hotel was overrun with newlywed couples; several of whom shared the same wedding date as Jon and I. The first couple we met was from Georgia; they had a beach wedding and were obviously infatuated with each other. As introductions were going around, Jon grabbed my hand and with a smile said, "This is my wife, Jenn." We looked at each other in amazement; Jon had never introduced me in that way. I remember thinking, "Wow, we finally made it." We enjoyed meeting other couples and hearing the stories from meeting each other to engagements to wedding stories. We each had stories to share whether it was a horrendous bridesmaid or missing wedding cakes. It felt as though we were all part of a private club; the "Married" club. It was a private membership only; reserved for those who took wedding vows.

The rest of the honeymoon was gone in a flash as well. We spent time deep-sea fishing and visiting an inlet called Xel-Ha where we spent the whole day snorkeling and floating down a river on inner tubes. We experienced a tropical storm that kept us inside for three days, but, overall, it was a wonderful, dream-like vacation that ended all too soon.

Surprisingly though, it was not the wedding, nor the honeymoon, where I really felt "married". It was little moments that happened throughout our first year of marriage. It was the day-to-day, routine events that brought me to the point where I now check "married" when asked for marital status without even blinking. The first happened about two weeks after we had returned home from our honeymoon. It was a Saturday morning and I woke up before Jon. I rolled to my side and lo and behold was the love of my life, snoring away. I remember looking at him and finally understood that "this is the man I'm going to be waking up to for the rest of my life!" I love Jon, but for some reason, it had not registered that I would be sharing a bed for the rest of my life with him. Here he is, in all his glory; bed-head, drool on the pillow, snoring, and to top it off, morning breath, and he is all mine from here to eternity. I shook off the surreal feeling, and realized that I would not have wanted it any other way!

About two weeks after that, I went to the mailbox and pulled out our mail. Inside were the checks I had ordered before we had left for the honeymoon. I rushed into our apartment and shouted for Jon. He came running out of the bathroom with shaving cream dollops on his face and tried to understand what all of the fuss was about. I ripped into the boxes and, lo and behold, there were our new checks. Typed side-by-side was the names Jonathan G and Jennifer G. It was official, we were married and we had the checks to prove it! Jon looked at me as though I had lost all leave of my senses! He laid a haphazard kiss upon my cheek and told me that the checks were great, acting as though he really cared.

There were times when we'd be cooking a meal together or going grocery shopping or doing laundry that included his boxers that I'd stop and think, "Wow, so this is what it is like being married." But there doesn't seem to be one moment more important than the night Jon went to the Emergency Room for a bad back.

He had been having back problems for more than a couple of weeks when one night, the pain was too much for him. He had some left-over Vicodin from a previous surgery but even that wasn't helping. I had finally convinced him that it was time to go to the Emergency Room to have it checked out. I piled him into the truck and through some panic was finally able to pull into the hospital parking lot. By this point, Jon was already in tears, the pain was overwhelming for him. Normally in these situations, Jon would have called me to meet him at the hospital, for his parents would have taken control. But this was the first time that he only had me to rely on; I was supposed to be the strong one. It was the first time I was asked to fill out his insurance paperwork, it was the first time that doctors directed questions at me when Jon was unable to answer, it was the first time that I wrote down myself as his emergency contact.

It was during that evening that I realized what marriage meant to me. It wasn't the cooking, the laundry, the kisses, the sugar-sweet looks. It was not about the checks or being called Mrs. G. It was about spending my life with my best friend. Marriage was about being the strong one when the other is weak. It is giving when the other is taking and vice versa. It's about trying to balance each other and it is hard work. I have enjoyed every minute of being married to Jon. We have had our moments, the fights where I wondered if I did the right thing and the uncertainties of where money is going to come for the next bill, but every moment makes me cherish him even more. Every night we face each other from opposite sides of the bed and I know all is right with the world because I get to share every moment, good and bad, with Jon."

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

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Amanda
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8:03 AM delete

You have a great engagement story! And what a sweet photo, too...

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Kendra
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7:54 PM delete

I think that is the cutest engagement story I have ever heard! That's fun that it is on his birthday. Mark proposed to me on his birthday too!

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Wayne Stinson
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8:40 PM delete

So sweet. You have a gift for words. Thanks for sharing!

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