If someone had said to me that I would celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary in 2009, I would not have believed them. Fifteen years is a long time for many things - cars, cats and dogs, jobs. But in this day and age, fifteen years is especially long for marriages. And, I never actually dreamed that I would get married at all. I always assumed I would be one of those "Career People, in love with their work and not lucky enough to find that special someone.
Then I met Jon. I won't tell you all the gooey details, but...
We met in Spring Quarter 1993. I was literally just weeks from graduation. It was the last required course that I needed to complete to attain my business degree. The professor had already arranged us into groups, and called our names to sit together in those groups. I was grouped with 3 boys: Jon, a terribly rude foreign boy, and a football player. The course grade was contingent on a large group project, requiring us to spend many, many hours together at the computer lab.
That first day I remember the class walking from the classroom to the computer lab, about 10 minutes away. I walked with my group, but ended up talking to Jon. I remember him talking about his new niece, his family, his grandfather. I marveled at the love that this young man had for his family, and that he was willing to share those feelings with a total stranger. We talked the whole way, and for many, many days and nights afterward.
The football player was nice enough, and did his share. The rude foreign boy treated me like I was his secretary, and he and I fought often, and loud! Jon was the voice of reason. He stood between us, arbitrated our differences, and then later laughed with me at the rude boy's arrogance. We spent many days at the lab, and many evenings walking on campus, talking and laughing. As the weeks passed, we spent more and more time together. One person at the computer lab even asked us how long we'd been married! (I guess he assumed we were grad students or something.)
We got engaged in October, 6 months after our first meeting. But I knew from the first day we met that he was The One. I remember coming home to my roommate and telling her that I had met a boy and that I was really taken with him. (Mind you, I was dating someone back at home at the time.) It was as if we both knew that first day that we'd found our soulmate.
This love story has its share of bumps - don't get me wrong. Jon's job takes us all over the world. We barely have a chance to move and make friends and get comfortable, and then the Army moves us again. We miss our extended families, and Jon is away from home A LOT. (I estimate that we've spent at least 5 of our 15 years apart, maybe as much as 6 or 7 years...)
People ask how we do it. And it isn't always easy. But we've decided that this life is worth it. All the ups, all the downs, the uncertainties, the blessings. All of it. So we work hard to keep it. There are bumps along the way, but I am slowly learning to get up, dust myself off, take Jon's hand, and continue on the journey.
We've been blessed to bring 3 beautiful daughters into the world. Three caring, compassionate, funny, loveable, amazing human beings. We've been blessed to live the life that we live. It isn't a life for everyone, but it works for us. We make mistakes, and we have amazing adventures.
I love you, Jon. Here's to 15 unbelievable years. And 15 (or 30!) more...