Monday, April 22, 2013

Where it all began

So there I was, minding my own business.....
I was 15 years old, freshman in high school, in a weight lifting class in the the gym. Just finding my way around. Meeting new people. Getting used to high school. Then she walked in.
The first time I saw her, I was completely stunned. She was beautiful. She was completely different from every other girl at school. She had my full attention. Really. I don't remember anything else that day. Just her. No. I didn't talk to her. The thought almost made me throw up. Actually, I don't think I ever spoke a word to her in school. She was out of my league. I was the goofy pothead kid. The clown, the grease monkey, the long haired freak. It was 1986 and I was a weird kid even during that era. She was perfect. At least in my mind, where she spent a lot of time.
The first time I remember speaking to her was a strange day. My dad, who had never done anything like this....ever, came home and made me get in the car. "You have to see this girl." That's all I got out him for the 10 minute ride. He had stopped at a little drug store where she was working. He was blown away by her whole presence. So he made me go in and buy something just to meet her. We talked for a few seconds, nothing earth shattering. That was it. He was a little disappointed that we weren't planning the wedding while I was in there. I told him, she went to my school and I know who she is. That was the end of it.
A year or so later, her brother became one of my best friends. Hadn't really thought about her much by then, she was still way out of my league. We got a job together at a nursery and landscape company. One day, the owners mother threw a fit at us for no good reason and fired us. We were stranded because we had been dropped off. He called his mom, then his sister, left messages but nobody answered. So we began the eight or nine mile walk back to town. Less than a mile from work, his parents pulled up. Seconds later, so did his sister. His parents were in a single cab truck that we weren't both going to fit into, so he told me to just ride with her. Dang. They drove off and I got into her little car. I was considering throwing up again. She was so polite, and friendly and hot. I was stressing out so bad I made her let me out three miles from home. I had to get out of that car. I couldn't handle sitting that close to the most beautiful girl I had ever spoken to. Seriously. Panic. She thought there was something wrong with me, and there was. That was a long slow walk home.
Maybe another year went by, I was now 18 and had just ended a fairly serious relationship that I just didn't know what to do with. Me and her brother just ran wild for a while. We did the standard list of stupid stuff and just hung out. One day, he suggests we go see his sister, who had her own place. That was pretty much the last time it was just me and him.
She was a blast to hang out with. I loved every minute with her. She was fun and tough and quickly became my absolute best friend. I wanted to be with her every day. When I finally got the nerve to ask her out for a real date, she said yes and I panicked again. Didn't go back for a week or so. Once I did, her weird friends started making up stories to get rid of me. But, I finally got that date, kinda. Me and her brother went to see her one night and she was leaving to go to a party with her weird friends. I offered to drive her, since I had a van. We pulled into this yard full of weirdos and got out. She started talking to everyone and just wandered off from us. I tried talking to some folks, but the freakometer was up pretty high. I didn't want to be there, I wanted to be with here. So I stole her purse from inside and threw it in the back of the van. When she walked back out, we climbed in and cranked it up. I yelled to her and said we were leaving. When she got close, I asked if she wanted her purse. "Yes, where is it?" I told her it was in the back. When she climbed in to get it, I dropped the clutch and took off. Yep. Our first date was a kidnapping.
A few weeks later, we were having a going away party for a friend at my house. I got frustrated and left. Walked up the street to a park and sat down. I prayed for the first time in years. "God, if there is a person who is right for me, you need to put them in front of me because I don't know what to do." What I didn't know was that she was at my house right then looking for me. Not 10 seconds after that little prayer, I saw her walking across the park. The rest is history.
Actually, the rest is the subject of this blog. Somewhere along the way, I forgot how precious she was. I forgot how miraculous our relationship was. I forgot how amazing and wonderful she was. She became just a wife to me. I neglected and abused her. But, 20 years later, we got back on track. After almost losing her, we are better than ever now. Thank God.
I am a blessed man. We have four amazing kids. We are in a good place. Life is becoming almost surreal some days. Not perfect yet, but amazing. I am writing this log to encourage men to become better. To stop neglecting and abusing that amazing woman you committed your life to. Take some time this week to remember how you met. Write it out. Think about it. If you make the effort to show her that she is still as precious today as she was then, it can all start to change. She needs it and so do you.

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