Ten years ago today, I married my best friend, DW.
It was hard to imagine ten years into the future as I packed up my little green KIA Sportage to make the trek from San Antonio to Michigan, the rest of my personal belongings stashed inside a U-Haul truck. I didn’t think I owned much, but what I did have was important to me. Some of it more than others. (The TV armoire in our bedroom was purchased with my very first Mary Kay director’s check.) DW drove the KIA while my father-in-law drove the truck. It was a long couple of days. Hours spent planning our future, day-dreaming about how we were going to raise our family, decorate the house, go to church and the friends we were going to make.
It was bitter-sweet leaving Texas. My heart was burdened slightly from saying goodbye to my parents and closest friend, leaving behind the only city I really knew, letting go of personal baggage, and memories that still made me smile. There was also some apprehension about starting my life over. I knew I would only get to see my family a couple of times a year, an overwhelming thought, but there was a peace and contentment about knowing I was going to spend everyday with this wonderful man, believing in myself as much as he believed in me too.
Advice you hear often is not to make too many big changes all at once, it puts stress on a marriage, and yet here I was, moving to a new state, giving up my job, contemplating having another baby sooner than later and making new friends. Yet, there was no stress, we stepped into our new life confidently. And for ten years it has just been a continuous flow of affection, admiration and respect.
One of my absolute best childhood friends has been visiting with us this week, and we’ve been reminiscing as much as we have been catching up. Something she remembers the most about spending time at my house, was how cute my parents were. She remembers catching them kissing in the kitchen, hugging in the hallway or holding hands while they were watching T.V. She was always a little embarrassed by their constant intimacy. Although totally uncommon in other households, it was just normal to me – my mom would even go to the corner gas station with him to fill up the car on Sunday nights. There was a part of me that thought I would never find that perfect relationship, one that somehow balances romance and longevity. The bar had been set higher than I ever thought reachable.
Last weekend I hopped in the car just to ride to Home Depot with DW, while he got a part he needed. I wasn’t avoiding housework or escaping bickering children. I simply wanted to be near him, and my presence was welcomed. It felt like a little date as we chatted in the car about our upcoming anniversary and the plans we were making.
It felt as exciting and new as our drive from San Antonio to Michigan.