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Thirteen Years Together

Thirteen years ago tonight, I was at my in-laws’ house falling asleep and thinking about all of the ways my life would be changing during the next twenty four hours. One thing that I knew wouldn’t ever change was the way that I felt about Theresa, my wife-tobe. Theresa and I met just a few years prior while we were students at CMU. I was working as a computer lab monitor, and Theresa was a frequent visitor. I guess it was really only a matter of time before we would cross paths. One night she tossed me the block we used to assign computers, I fumbled it while trying to catch it, and she made a snide comment. Yes, that was the first thing she ever said to me. The first thing I ever said to her was, “So, do you like ‘X-Files?’” I asked her because at the time she was wearing a baseball hat with the word “X-Files” on the front, and I could see on her computer that she was waiting to get into an X-Files chat room. Overall, it seemed like a safe assumption. We were very good friends for the longest time, and stayed that way until the winter of 1996. As friends, we shared a lot of common interests. We both loved science fiction, reading, and computers. We could also spend the longest time talking to each other about almost anything and everything. We once talked for nearly three hours outside the doors to the Education building because that’s where we happened to cross paths. Other highlights included nights out at the movies with friends, the night I went over to eat spaghetti and watch “Pocahontas” with Theresa, her roommate, and some of their friends (I also 1

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View as: | Webpage | Doc | Activity Feed | played Euchre amazingly well that night. Theresa later admitted that she had cheated for me). When we parted for the summer at the end of my Junior year, I gave Theresa a black-and-white photo that my roommate had taken of me for his Journalism photography class. Theresa went out on our first date in 1996 and have been together ever since. Our Wedding finally arrived on July 10, 1999 but it wasn’t without some twists and turns. In April of ‘99, I learned that the entire company I was working for, called HomeTown Online, was be dissolved and that I would be without a job. Around the same time, Theresa had resigned from her first full time teaching job with the Marlette Public Schools. I landed a parttime job with the Cromaine Library and worked there while I looked for full time work, and Theresa continued her search for a teaching position. I was offered a job by the Michigan State Medical Society in East Lansing, and we rented an apartment in Haslett. Theresa’s job search shifted to the Lansing area. I actually started my new position with MSMS one week before our wedding and honeymoon. So, overall that Summer marked the start of a new job, a new home, and a new life together as husband and wife. Our wedding was quite a production (as most are). My friend and co-best man Geoff Draper helped me with the brochure for the wedding. There were cartoons on the front which represented key moments from our relationship: Meeting in the computer lab, proposing to Theresa, walking with a baby in a stroller, and the both of us looking grey haired and much older, sitting next to each other on a porch in rockers. In the center of the cover, the two of us were in wedding clothes looking deeply into each other’s eyes. I remember waiting in the basement of the Presbyterian Church for the service to start, reading over the vows I had written and wishing I was able to memorize them as easily as I knew Theresa would have. My best man, Ed, made cracks about how we would look out the window at any minute and see Theresa driving away from the church on a motorcycle. From that point on, everything was a whirlwind of activity. Our niece, Allyson served as our flower girl but needed to be coaxed down the aisle by her mom. While the minister was saying “a few words,” I made google eyes at Theresa. They threw rice at us when we entered the reception hall, and my brother-in-law, Jeff, pulled several pranks on us. We didn’t find the plastic bugs in our luggage until after we had arrived in Florida. In the subsequent years, we’ve changed jobs (Special Olympics Michigan, Dow Chemical, EduGuide) Theresa has gone from being a stay-at-home mom to subbing, and then working full time (Walmart), we’ve moved from the Lansing area to Shepherd (and even while in Shepherd we’ve moved twice), had two kids, and gone through more ups and downs than I could count. If I were to travel back in time to the night before my wedding, I’m sure I’d have a lot to say to myself. Pay better attention at work, spend more time with your grandfather, keep up to date on your industry, never stop reading, spend money more frugally, and keep a closer watch for deer

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View as: | Webpage | Doc | Activity Feed | that night that you and Theresa are heading back to her parents’ house from Saginaw. Also, treasure the time you’ll have with your kids when they’re babies. Those days do not last as long as you think. Most of all, no matter what happens or how much the world change, always count yourself as very fortunate to have met someone like Theresa.

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