A friend of mine pointed out today that I hadn't written anything on my blog in a while and suggested that I should really write about all of the humorous stuff that goes on when you live with and take care of aging parents. She is right, there is a lot I could say about that topic so I started planning out this blog entry in my head. I didn't get far before I got stuck. This is not because I don't have a lot of material to choose from. Believe me--there is plenty, but my thoughts kept being interrupted by thoughts of my husband. So I am going to take a risk and instead talk to you about Jason. Because as all wives know....our husbands provide all sorts of great story material also!
I know what you are thinking already. You are thinking that I might be getting ready to complain about all of things Jason does to annoy me. All of the juicy (ok, juicy might be pushing it a little) details of my marriage and family. Not at all. Instead I want to tell you about risks, hope, growth, and love. Hum....sounds like a love story. Laura and Jason? Well....
First, the risk.
Thirteen years ago I was a single mother working three jobs. I was a part time secretary for a church, I cleaned houses and offices, and I worked as a cashier at Food Lion. I was happy. Ashley was happy. Our life went along rather smoothly in fact. Although I wasn't against the idea of dating and finding the "love of my life", I hadn't had a lot of luck in that area so it wasn't something I spent a lot of time thinking about.
I met Jason at Food Lion where he worked too. He had been there a year or two and to him I was probably just another cashier. I don't think he gave me a lot of thought. Truthfully, I didn't give him a lot of thought either. The more I worked with him though, the more I started to think about him. What did it for me was how he would laugh AT me. Yes, that's right...AT me. Not at my wonderful wit and charm....at my stupidity. My blonde moments. I am not sure what that says about my self esteem that I liked being laughed at, but I did. Not by everyone, just Jason. So it began. The relationship that no one thought would last.
We were more of a "what are they thinking" kind of couple. Jason, you see, was 10 years younger. So if I was being honest...I would have to admit I asked myself that same question on more than one occasion. Yet, just as it would remain over the next thirteen years, there was something there that told me to follow my heart and not my brain. I took the biggest risk I had ever taken in my life. I jumped in with both feet.
Our first daughter together, Brooke, was born 20 months after we first met. Followed 14 months later by Anna. At this point, Jason and I had already experienced many moments that made me think all of those people who said we didn't know what we were doing were right. I didn't think we would make it. I spent more time mad at him than I did liking him ...and although he has never said it, I am sure he felt the same way about me. By this point Jason was a truck driver and gone more than he was home. When he did come home, we spent a lot of that time mad. I could give those "juicy" details now to paint a clearer picture, but it wouldn't do any good. Trust me, it was a bad cycle we were in. Yet that risk I had taken in the beginning to me was based on hope. Every time we would have an argument and I would think about leaving, it was hope that kept me there. It wasn't as if we didn't have any good times, we did. A lot of great memories. I loved this man and we could do it. So I would keep trying to make things change. I think back now and realize my main thought was that I hoped I could change HIM. After all, the way I saw it, everything was his fault. I am perfect, right?
Growth and Love
In 2004, I was pregnant again. This is not what I wanted. That sounds bad to say those words, because I love our son more than life itself, but at the time, having a fourth child was not a good idea. Partly because I had been told by my doctor not to have any more children, and partly because Jason and I were still struggling. Of course there are always those times when you bring a new life into the world where everything seems blissful and right. We had those times when Ben was born just as we had with our other children. Wouldn't take long though and all of the old problems would be back.
I decided it had to end. HE was never going to change. I started planning my way out. I went back to school and got my degree. I got a job right after graduation. I worked hard. Then, I lost that job. Suddenly, my world turned upside down. I wanted to die.
Jason picked me up. Jason. This man I had discounted all of these years. The one I had blamed everything on made me feel I had a reason to live.
Sometimes we have light bulb moments. I had one of those. Maybe all of these years, it hadn't been all his fault. Maybe I had gotten so caught up in myself and seeing things my way and having things my way that I hadn't seen the truth. I was so busy trying to make him into the man I thought I wanted him to be, I didn't see the man he was all along. In all of those years I had forgotten to look into his eyes and see that HE loved ME. Now I could see it very clearly. It was the same look I had seen in the beginning. Deep in his eyes he looked at me the way no one else had. That was why the risk had been so worth taking in the beginning. Humbling times for me. The way I had treated him at times. The way we had treated each other. I am surprised looking back that he didn't leave me.
This Wednesday, February 1st, is our 10th wedding anniversary. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. Thirteen years together and ten officially. We are doing what no one thought we could do. I am so lucky to have Jason. Lucky to have someone put up with me while I have grown up. Lucky to have a person in this world who knows and puts up with all of my quirks and faults and still loves me like I am the most important person in the world. I can no longer picture a world without him and while we will never be a perfect couple, that is ok too. It is ok because individually, we are not perfect people.
Oh, and the way he used to laugh AT me...he still does that and I still love it.
Since I know you will be reading this Jason...I love you and I hope there are many years of laughing at each other ahead! Happy Anniversary!