Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Almost 21 years

September 16th would have been Jim & My 10th Wedding Anniversary. It's been a hard (Week/ Month / Year - hell, choose one and go with it!) here at Kuhrsville. Along with all of the many things happening, I also find myself reflecting on all of the wonderful memories that Jim gave me.

We met in 1989, in Myke Miller's basement. My dear friend Sandy invited me to go and see their band practice that night. I was engaged to someone else at the time, but that relationship was going south at that moment. I was getting the notion that my fiance was seeing somebody else from work, and he was treating both me and young Andy like we were excess baggage. So it felt good to get out for the night and get drunk and sing my heart out. I truly had myself a case of the blues!

As the night progressed, everybody was starting to lose their ability to play their instruments, so we packed it in for the night and went upstairs to party. I found myself spending most of the night talking with Jim. We had a lot in common, and as you know, no one could hold a conversation better than Jimmy! I kept thinking to myself "This guy is SO SWEET! And I am engaged to SUCH an ASSHOLE!" It made me go home and really re-evaluate my relationship, and hit the problems head-on.

My fears were confirmed. My fiance was indeed interested in a new co-worker, and wanted me out of his life so that he could get together with her. It was a hard but clean break-up. I kept a positive outlook, and was ready to start a new life on my own. (He married her 6 months later, and she divorced him the next year. Karma!)

But then, a few months later, Sandy again called me and said "Can you get a babysitter this weekend? Doug Nelson said he was going down to Slade's."

My response was "I'll go, but only if Doug invites his friend Jim along."

Poor Jimmy didn't stand a chance! Wherever I sat, my friends made sure the seat beside me was the only one available to him. And before long, he fell prey to my charms and asked me for my number.

Our first official date was on September 16, 1989. From there, it was full speed ahead. I had a major crush on him. Hell, he was so damn CUTE! And he had the sexiest phone voice ever. But I think what really made me fall hard for him was when he brought his guitar over and was playing for me. I noticed that when he was really concentrating hard on what he was playing, he'd stick his tongue out the side of his mouth like a little puppy. Stick a fork in me. I wanted to keep him forever!

The band was definitely an added bonus to our relationship. I had always wanted to sing in a band and make the songs I'd written come to life. And everyone quickly became just like family. I'd give a kidney to any one of them if they needed one. There was always music, laughter and a lot of love when we got together.

After most couples live together for 11 years, they pretty much figure that's the arrangement for life. But Jim and I never did follow the text book on anything. After a surprise pregnancy, and then having a miscarriage at 4 months along (they say once you get past 3 months you're safe from those - but not for me), we had decided that we really needed to try again and have a baby, and do it the right way. So we started planning for both a baby and a wedding. And lo and behold, the anniversary of our first date just happened to fall on a Saturday that year!What a perfect date for a wedding!

It was a small wedding. Only close friends and family were invited. We didn't care about the cards or gifts. We just wanted to share our day with our loved ones. And it was perfect.... well... almost. The sound system went haywire at the church during our ceremony and I had to run back and fix the control panel. And our unity candle didn't want to light....and our Best man almost passed our cold on the altar.... but all in all, we were so happy, nothing could rain on our parade.

We took great care in choosing the music for our wedding. We had the German version of Ave Maria to walk down the aisle to. And we wanted a song by Tuck and Patti to exit the ceremony to. After combing through hundreds of favourites, we both agreed on this one:

It seemed to say it all for us.

I was thinking about this song this morning at work and had to stop myself. For me, it reminds me just how dearly Jim really loved me. I could be the biggest bitch in the world, but he still stood beside me, willing to work it all out and make things better. He angered me so often, and yet he could turn around and be the most loving and beautiful person I had ever encountered.

Our last anniversary together was not a good one. Although it was filled with love, it was also filled with a lot of fear. Jim had his spleenectomy on the 9th (Yes, Marty, you picked a bad day to leave us). That was just one week prior to our anniversary. Once again, I had almost lost him to poor health. And our anniversary was filled with doctor appointments and post-op visits.

He had to see the urologist that day as well. And as we rode the elevator down to the parking lot, he said "Damn! She stuck her finger up my butt too!"

My response was "She Did? Well Happy Anniversary, Honey!"

The saddest part about losing someone you've spent 21 years with is that even though time does heal, it also moves you further along the time-line from that point that the two of you had together. It creates a distance from everything that the two of you shared. Life goes on and changes sometimes subtly and sometimes in drastic ways, but it keeps evolving until that common point in time that you shared with your loved one no longer exists in the present. I think that's what hurts the most. I know I'll keep going. I know there will someday be romance in my life again. But if I had my druthers, I'd find a worm hole and jump back in time and savour every moment with him.

I refuse to spend Thursday feeling sorry for myself. I'm going to go to work and keep busy, and I already have plans to go out for dinner and drinks with my sisters. They have been so amazing and supportive on this journey. I would be so lost without them.

So Happy Anniversary, Love. I know from all of the many signs that you're watching over me. Thank you for all those crazy years with you. Thank you for loving me when you should have just had me committed. For taking care of me and letting me think it was the other way around. For all of the amazing conversations we shared. For all of your fabulous meals and for every bottle of wine we shared. For sharing your uber-amazing friends with me. For helping to raise my Andy with all the love that a true father could give, and for helping me to create our Jerry who is the driving force for me to keep going forward. I really am very blessed.