Bliss! It flowed through every inch of my body. I was his and he was mine. I knew with all certainty that we would be together for the rest of our lives. I may have been only 17 and he 22, but I knew it.
The first half of my senior year of high school my man worked in the Gulf of Mexico on an oil rig. I only saw him every three to five weeks. It was torture. I sent him perfume doused letters written on yellow striped stationery (said letters were routinely passed around for sniffing). Even packed a stuffed animal in his bag earning him the nickname “Freddie bear”. I fell into the habit of skipping class (a lot) when he was home. Still managed to keep the grades up but a couple of my teachers dropped them because of the absences. Then my daddy stepped in and threatened to not pay for our wedding if I didn’t toe the line. So toe the line I did.
The gulf job didn’t last…too much longing. He came home and settled into a job at home and looked for a place for us to live come June.
Fast forward to June…just two weeks after graduation I married the man who changed all my dreams…no Broadway, no college right after high school, no big time city and stardom but I had l.o.v.e. My parents had divorced as had Fred’s and I was determined that I would never let that happen.
So…on June 6th, 1981 I married at the ripe old age of 18.
Three months later I was pregnant.
Number one was born on June 6th 1982, our first anniversary present to each other.
Number two came in 1984.
Number three appeared in 1986.
And our omega in 1989.
I would say we were quite busy.
To top it off I was in school. Finished my nursing degree in 1991.
We had another love in our lives at this time, our church. We were there any time the doors were open. At one point we were the ones opening those doors (custodians). We were training up our children in the way they should go…children’s quizzing, home schooling, very little TV, no movies. We were the youth pastors and I was the teen quiz coach. Hubby was so knowledgeable about the Bible, so earnest in his teachings. But at home cracks were starting to show…we argued, pulled away from each other, even took to sleeping in separate beds (because I moved so much). I saw the cracks and tried to fix them but it was like trying to use duct tape to hold a cracked priceless vase together…you know the crack is still there, the tape is only an unsightly, temporary fix for something precious, something valuable that needs to be nurtured and lovingly pieced back together before more damage is done, before it is irreparably broke.
Teens were our lives for ten years but then the church we were at showed their human side and crushed the both of us but more so hubby. The pastor left and so did we. I often imagined we had signs around our neck that said “walking wounded”.
Lethargy overtook us. We cared less about our children, our God, ourselves, each other.
I put on weight. Felt unattractive, unlovable. But didn’t really do anything about it. Didn’t care one whit.
Ten more years passed. Apathy deep-rooted. Every once in a while I would plead for affection, touch. Get it for a few days and then we went back to minimal touching unless, well, you know. No problem there (I made sure hubby was taken care of) but I was starving for affection, to feel lovely.