Hey Babe -
Do you remember the text message you sent me about 9 years ago at the crack of dawn? This was when cell phones weren’t smart yet and all they could do was make calls and send text messages and the most advanced cell phone in the market was the blackberry. Since there was not a “do not disturb” function, the text woke me up and it read, “I’ve been thinking about this all night and I want to spend 24/7 with you.” I texted back, “and how do you propose you’re going to make that happen?” You responded with, “I think we should move in together!” I replied with, “I think we should talk about this later when I’m not half asleep.” You replied with, “What is there to talk about?” Then later that day, you brought all your stuff to my apartment and said you were moving in. I said, “but we didn’t talk about it yet.” You said, “What is there to talk about? I’ve already moved in.” And that's how we ended up living together in the tiny apartment by the lake with two cats. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to work out; I always thought we would kill each other and this time when we broke up, it was going to be for REALS. I would have never expected that we would move into our first house two years later with 3 cats and 2 dogs in tow.
And that’s usually how we made our big life decisions. We never really discussed anything seriously, we would just talk about stuff, make jokes and laugh about it, close our eyes, crossed our fingers, took a leap of faith, and hope it works out. Like how we decided to get married. We were lounging around watching TV when I got a text from somebody asking when we were going to get married. So, after reading that text, I said to you, “I’m so tired of people asking when we’re going to get married.” Then you said, “Why don’t we just get married so people will stop asking.” I said, “but we’re not the marrying type.” Then you said, “but we’re already married. We’ve been living together all these years, you’re already my wife.” I responded with, “You want to get married?” You said, “Yeah. Why not?” I said, “Let me think about it.” I couldn’t believe you wanted to get married. I thought maybe you were drunk or having a lapse in judgment--especially since neither of us believed in the institution of marriage and never discussed getting married before. We always said we didn’t need a piece of paper to keep us together or to tell us that we belonged to each other. We were happy with our current status and why fix something that wasn’t broke?! But a few weeks later, I asked you again if you still wanted to get married and you said, “Yeah! Why not?” So, we got married!
A few weeks before our wedding, I asked you, “Are you sure this (us getting married) is going to work out?” You said, “No, it’s all a leap of faith. No one really knows for sure it will really work out or not when they get married.” I laughed and said, “ain’t that the truth!” Even the week of our wedding, I asked you again, “Are you having cold feet?” You said, “No, are you?” I said, “No.” Honestly, I still can’t believe we got married. Like I said in our wedding vows, “who would have guessed that you and I would be standing here today exchanging vows.” For two people who didn’t believe in the institution of marriage, I thought we ‘played house’ pretty well. I don’t think we really understood how profound marriage could be until we got married. Marriage isn’t an institution or a piece of paper. It isn’t even about rings or changing one’s last name. It has nothing to do with any of these things. Instead, marriage is about the vows and commitment we make out loud to each other in front of our family and friends. I never really understood how powerful the act of commiting out loud that we want to be together forever could be. I don’t think it changed how we viewed our relationship (since we’ve always known how we feel about each other), but it changed how our family and friends viewed our relationship, which only helped to deepen our love and commitment to each other. I remember asking you awhile ago, “Did you ever think marriage could be this great?” You said, “Nope!”
We may not have been married for a long time, but I think what we’ve learned and shared in the two and half years of marriage and in all the years we’ve been together, some people spend a lifetime looking for. Thank you for being my dance partner through life. I love and miss you so much.
P.S. Thank you for finally admitting the truth! You always liked to tell everybody that I was annoying when you first met me but I always knew it was love at first sight (even if you didn’t admit it until you stood on stage and said it in your vows--“Ever since the first day I met you, even though I always tell people I thought you were annoying when I first met you, I saw this little short person with a huge smile and I was just taken in.”--Yup, I always knew, I got you at hello!)
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.