Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Celebrating our Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Honey
This anniversary is probably more important to me than any other. We are celebrating 15 years today. Its a tad hard to explain but mainly things are just more how I would like them to be. We have really had some major struggles in our marriage, personally and together. There were several times where I truly did not believe that it could ever really "work." I am very thankful in many ways to the loss of my job back in October, it really helped us turn a corner as we were forced to really really turn to one another in this difficult financial time. We communicate better and just have a more centered life with the Lord as a couple. It helps to heal some of the pain from child loss, to a house with mold, to caring for a parent and setting our relationship aside to do so...there were so many other hurtful things yet now I feel a togetherness that I truly felt was there all along. It is very refreshing. So a little bit about our lives.

We were married in 1995 in Las Vegas, NV. It was just the two of us and a hilarious Hispanic pastor. We got a trailer in Vegas to bring back to California so that we could move here to Texas from the college that we were both attending in Irvine. That is where we met. Funny as it is we were both in relationships in January of 1994, when we met for the first time. I was dating someone that I thought I might actually marry and he was going through the throws of a divorce to his wife- a high school sweetheart. We attended a dance with other people and were sat at the same time. I remember more than anything being very curious about this guy I had just met and before I could get to know him he was back on his way to Texas, where he was from. That May I stayed on Campus and took a job. My very first day I walked in all grungy and tired in sweats and there was this guy from months prior. I had just recently broken up with my boyfriend, deciding that he was not who I wanted to marry and Paul was finishing paperwork on a divorce. That summer we mainly worked but as it dragged on we got to know one another and eventually started dating. As the year finished up I knew with certainty that this was truly the guy that I was interested in. Just the way he made me laugh and how he truly cared about my life and plans- I was "sold." So much so that when he joined me in Utah for Christmas with family I have there, I asked if we could get married. It didn't quite work out on New Years Eve like I had hoped, but basically a week later it all came together and we then moved to Texas to start our lives together.We moved in with Paul's mom and helped her clean up a house that she had just moved from so that it could be sold and I helped her finish up her new house, doing wallpaper, finding homes for things etc. We also worked alot in the yard. We really enjoyed the first few months of marriage. I had just enrolled in classes when we found out that we were 10 weeks pregnant with Jakob. Our goal then became to get our own place, because I felt it might be difficult to raise a baby and live with a mother in law- even though I loved her to death. That meant Paul had to get a job too. We chose bartending school because his hours would be more flexible and I could continue going to school. He got his first job at Willies Dockside, and when that closed he worked for their other company Willies Icehouse. Here is Jakob below after Paul had come home from work- this is now in our second apartment.
Funny about apartments for us we found that every time we thought about moving up I became pregnant. Zekaryah came almost exactly 2 years later. That was pretty perfect I thought, However we hit a really big bump in that Paul had been let go from Willies and we were now with Compaq computers- with a contracting company for them, which meant he worked the night shift. My new baby was colicky and needy. I thought I might just go insane. With constant moving, I still had no friends, had let go of the idea of school and was a stay at home mom for sure. Zekaryah was early so we don't have a family photo from his birth, as my parents were not here from CA until a week or so after he was born.

We quickly realized that living in an apartment with Paul working nights and having two little ones was not very cost efficient and also it was just too loud and scary, so we were in search for a house. It is a funny story as I had lost a twin with Zekaryah and was really missing that and thinking ahead I said we need to get a 4 bedroom not a 3 bedroom - just a small cost difference at the time. Well I spoke way to soon as Zekaryah was only about 6 months old and I found out I was pregnant with Mekenzei- see moving.. It was almost a cursed blessing...:-) I don't think we ever really are ready. Mekenzei was a huge blessing as it really helped me deal with my loss, however the post partum depression I felt with her was unreal.After this point life really got very difficult for us. I lost another baby that December. Went to Utah to try and get help with the kids as I didn't have family locally to help. That led to some major medical issues. Then Paul flew out and brought us back home. Shortly after Mekenzei got severe pneumonia and almost died. Shortly after that I think I just about lost all faith temporarily. I am very thankful to my mother in law, family and especially my husband because I don't know how I would have managed without any of them, mainly their prayers. We struggled for a while trying to sort out the right meds, and then I decided it was best to go into a hospital for a while. I think that was a God Send for me as I realized I really was not as bad off as I thought. That I truly has purpose and reason for living and that the Lord did indeed have a plan even though he felt so very very far away.

When I got out a week later, there were still many struggles. Medication was the biggest of them all and then just not feeling like a good wife and mom nearly ate me alive. Counseling in some ways tore our marriage further apart because even though it was meant to be a good thing alot got pinned on my relationship with Paul and that didn't sit to well. To make matters worse one day I found water in a closet, which turned into mold, which meant we had to move out. We kept trying to make things work despite the constant struggles we faced. Paul working crazy hours and so many hours. Me trying to raise 3 children while I was so utterly depressed and lost. I do remember some really good times though. We went to the beach alot, worked and played in the yard alot and even got some time away like the zoo. We had a long road and once we started living in a hotel while our house faced repairs, well things dwindled quickly. I was now working nights, Paul was working days and it was our worst mistake ever.

We continued to move further apart and finally separated. We would try to manage things a few times but the years between 2001 and 2004 were tough. I would finally get my own place, we lived that way nearly a year then I moved out of state. I think during this time we both worked on ourselves. I wasn't gone but a few months and we repaired things enough to give it another go. 2005 was full of many blessings. Two of our children were baptized. Our marriage was on track again after a tough year in 2004 of really putting time into things. It was also a year that Paul was out of work which really helped us. One unforeseen situation was us caring for his mom. We had sold our house and moved in with her as she was facing later stages of Alzheimer's. Little did we know that the strain of my constant attention on her and then being drained from also raising 3 young children would be a little much a year later.

After Jakobs Baptism- at Fellowship of the Woodlands Church 2005

We decided that summer to take a trip, actually a few. We got passes to Six Flags, went to Dallas, San Antonio and California that year. We really were fighting to make things work while I continued to find myself having less and less time as the care for his mom increased to full time by July. Come August she had a heart attack and our marriage was literally just put on hold until her death that December. I think at this point all the loss we felt just hit us both, but especially me. I got extremely sick, was loosing my hair and was just lost emotionally and physically.

Zekaryah's Baptism at Fellowship of the Woodlands church- just shortly before my husbands mothers death.

Come 2006 we hit another whirlwind. We were trying to settle her estate, had no where to live, we were trying to find our own place, deal with our own emotions and get back on track. That summer I think I had finally just given up. I moved away again...and spent time with my parents. My dad helped alot as he helped me discover that I truly did still Love Paul very much I just had nothing left to give. Totally natural considering the tremendous toll of caring for my mother in law Joyce. I prayed alot, read through the entire bible and just got back to who I was. The Lord really moved in me that summer and by the end of that year I finally felt like I had a marriage and family again. We looked for a new home come 2007 and from there things finally started falling into place. We got on a normal routine of attending church. I backed out of volunteering for anything to really devote time to us.

One thing we decided was more family trips. We love San Antonio as a couple. Have spent a few anniversary's there and decided that it was time to involve the kids in a place we love. We did Sea World Passes- that was a lot of fun. We also did the beach a ton, it is something we have always enjoyed as a family. It takes more work than I ever would have realized to make a marriage really work. When I said "I do" 15 years ago, I just never knew how much trial we could face. It seemed like every time we turned around something else would happen and it would continue to tear us apart. Not having a strong family to turn to for help locally, or friends didn't help much either.
This past year has really been the best of them all. Mekenzei was baptized, we even had family attend the event. That meant a great deal to me. We have met 2 couples, one with kids and one without that we spend time with once in a while as a family. We still go to the beach and try to do vacations- like South Padre. Mostly we try very hard to eat dinner as a family every night and not plan to many external events so that we can stay focused on one another.

Together we can really conquer anything but learning that we have to put ourselves before our family and friends was very difficult. What was even more difficult was putting ourselves before school and church obligations. Learning to remove guilt that is left from that decision was hard as well. I look back at these last 15 years and am in awe that we are where we are today. I can honestly say that the struggles have been worth it. I find that our story has impacted the lives of many other couples and that truly makes it worthwhile. It also speaks to our children who have seen so much but seen that we kept trying, no matter how hard it was.

I can't say we don't still face obstacles, and difficult ones, at times, but we are better prepared to handle them. I was very concerned a few months ago that our new situation of me not having a job could drive us apart again. It is so stressful when there isn't money to pay for food or gas and there isn't a job opening for me right now, that works with the kids schedule. With the economy, it is hard to depend on sales of quilts and things to make ends meet. Yet somehow we are closer than ever before. I feel truly blessed to have such a good church family that has supported us through our good times and bad. To have friends and family around us that have had to set their feelings aside about all the situations and just supported our decisions to make things work. Most of all I am grateful to my husband who continues to stand by me, Support me and love me and I can't wait to see where we are in another 15 years.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very touching and beautiful tribute to your husband, family and marriage. I really enjoyed reading it. You have a great testimony to share!


Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24