I Do … I Did

It would have been 36 years of marriage today.  Thirty six years of ups and downs, happy and sad times and 36 years of memories together. This doesn’t even take in the years we lived together or were friends first

I remember our wedding day as if it was yesterday.  The night before John was helping to clear the table after dinner and he was scraping a plate into the garbage and he turned and put his back out.  He was in terrible pain and went to bed early to try and relieve it.

I slept in to conserve my energy because I was 3 months pregnant.  John got a phone call and came in to talk to me.  His brother, our best man, phoned to say he would not be our best man at the wedding.  I cried.  Already the oldest brother and his family had said they would not attend the wedding and now this.  His family objected to our marriage because John had divorced his first wife.  They all sided with his first wife.  John and I didn’t have some sordid affair.  I had already had an affair with a married man and hated the way I felt when I was seeing this man. I realized early on this man was using me but I was enamoured of him and the life he exposed me to.   I told John we couldn’t have a fling.  We had worked together for a few years prior to getting together and were friends first.  However when he left his first wife it wasn’t long before we were together permanently.  My daughter was the same way when she started dating her “sun and stars”.  Basically after their first date they were never apart.  It was the same for John and I.  I don:t really care what other people think of how we got together but we were meant to be together

Going back to our wedding day I told John I didn’t want to marry him anymore.  I told him to go back to his ex-wife and two daughters.  He told me we didn’t HAVE to get married and we could continue living together.  He said that no matter what, we were going to be together.  Married or not.  He said he would rather have me in his life and his family could go straight to hell.  He said we were not going to give them the satisfaction of tearing us apart.

So he made a call to my brother who was happy to step in as best man.

At three we went to city hall to be married.  Julie and Laura looked adorable in their matching pink dresses.  My sister was my matron of honour.

John’s parents and my parents were there also.  My dad really liked John’s parents (they were all Dutch).  John’s parents were not overjoyed at the ceremony but they put on a brave face.

A justice of the peace married us.  She didn’t make me feel like a number.  I was so filled with love for John that I thought I would burst.  He was standing ramrod straight because his back was so sore.  The ceremony was beautiful.  Afterwards we went behind City Hall near the creek and had our photos taken.

We had our reception at an Italian restaurant that just opened in Oshawa. Many people came and it was a wonderful evening.  My new sister-in-law got drunk and knocked a planted tree over.  It was only recently that I found out she and her husband spent our wedding day drinking with John’s ex-wife.

After the reception we went home. I was so happy to be home with the man I loved.  To this dany I am happy we didn’t bow to the pressure of his family and we created a life without them.

My family made up for John’s family.  My brother became one of John’s closest friends.  We travelled together and spent weeks together in Florida.  My father loved John like a son. And my nephew Stephen looked up to John like a father.  John never regretted his decision to marry me, not even in our bad time.

Dear John

Hi honey,

I miss you so much so I decided to write to you.  We used to email each other when we were apart so this is pretty much the same except I won’t get a reply.

First .. I miss you.  It is time for you to come home.  Or for me to go home with you.  Life is a challenge without my rock beside me to support and guide me.  But ….

Anyway (I remember how you hated when I said that because you knew I would be changing the subject) .. anyway here is some news.

Julie has moved to Switzerland.  Yeah, Switzerland.  She is very happy (even though it has only been a few days).  I couldn’t believe that her dogs were going but they are doing quite well there and are probably adjusting faster than Julie is.  Dogs can sleep any time.  She has been walking a great deal and that is so good for her.  She has lost a ton of weight and looks great.  She has so much more energy and life in her now.  She has such a happy glow about her.

Quinn is in college now and has really blossomed.  He’s found his happy place.  I need to go pick him up next weekend for Thanksgiving and he asked if I could come Saturday instead of Friday because he wants to hang out with his friends there.  I am so happy for him.

I had dinner with Emily on Friday night.  She’s doing well too.  Loving school and being the belle of the ball.  You would be so proud of her, honey.  Next year she’ll be going to college or university because of what you did for her.  She doesn’t know what she wants to be yet though so I am going to try and convince her to get a degree in commerce.  She could run a store, own a business and the world would be her oyster.  She is one smart cookie, much like our baby Amanda.

I don’t see Amanda much.  Only at family functions.  It breaks my heart but she is busy and I think she really doesn’t want to be around me that much.  I seem to upset her.  I can’t talk about you, I can’t talk about Florida and I can’t talk about me with her.  I don’t know what I can do to fix our relationship.  Even if we went to Hawaii together I think I’d end up spending my time alone while she and Brandon went off to explore.  After me wishing that I could spend 5 minutes again with you my next wish would be that Amanda would want to spend some time with me again.

Oh my, you would be so proud of Adam.  He’s working at Montana’s now on the line. He’s being trained to close and open so once that is done he’ll know everything there!  He loves his job.  He has been there almost 6 months.  He has a great work ethic (gee I don’t know where he got that from) but I wish he could make more money.  I have the feeling he’s going to be making minimum wage (or close to it) for many years to come before he is a restaurant manager.  One thing though is he has inherited your kidney stones.  He was taken by ambulance to the hospital in severe pain while I was in Bermuda.  He’s fine now but has a few small stones to pass.  Right now they are in a place where they aren’t bugging him.  I’m trying to get him to see Dr Morton as his specialist since Dr Morton was so good to you.

Lee has a job too and she is enjoying it.  She works at Value Village and hasn’t missed a shift!  The atmosphere in the house is so much better.  We rarely eat together though because Adam works nights and Lee works weird shifts all over the place.  I’m going to take them to Florida in February as a reward for their hard work.  Emily is going to stay here with my babies.

Yes, I have two kittens now.  They do make me laugh.  They saved my life.  They give me a reason to wake up in the morning, a reason to laugh and a reason to think about something outside of me.  Callie and Obi Wan.  They remind me of KitKat and Ringo except Callie is not sickly.  She is sleek and beautiful though and loves Adam.  She talks constantly.  When I come home she races to the door yelling “Hellooo”.  She is hysterical.  You would love her except she wakes me early every morning.  We all need to go downstairs together at 6 am.  I am not looking forward to the time change.

I still have a great deal to do on the house.  I want to keep the house but I’m not sure if I can.  There is so much to take care of and I can’t do it alone.  Unfortunately Adam and Lee are not helpful there.  They still spend their spare time playing games and watching videos in their room like teenagers. I’m not sure what to do but the house isn’t ready for sale yet anyway.  I’m going to do our room and ensuite over the winter and get my craft room started.  I would really like to do it before everything freezes in the garage!

Work is the same.  I want to give up the tax returns and the corporate clients.  I’m not qualified to do this and I’m not sure why you backed me into this corner.  I need to let it all go, from the issues with Celeste to the day to day dealings with tax return clients and corporate clients.  I can’t keep up with the laws and I’m so unsure of giving advice since you never allowed me to say anything to clients in case I was wrong!  You didn’t give me the confidence to do this until it was too late and now I just can’t deal with it on my own. I don’t know if it will work out with Simon either because Simon is being Simon.  I will decide by Christmas on what I’ll do but I’m not going to recommend anyone to the clients because I did that once and that isn’t working out.  No one works like we did.  We were a dying breed but a great team.

But speaking of work … I should get to it.  I love you honey and always will.  I know you are just in a different place and maybe you will get this letter.  Respond however you can.  I always know when it is you.

All ways and forever,