For those of us in the United States, this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. In my world it’s the kick off of the holiday season culminating on Christmas and then New Years. I’m grateful that I have a job that doesn’t require me to work weekends or holidays. My first year as a nurse working in a hospital I had to work Christmas Day. I remember I wanted to cry driving in, it was terrible. The next year, Tommy and I were newly married and my nurse manager had me work Christmas Eve overnight into Christmas Day, then work the 26th overnight. I don’t know why she gave me such a horrible schedule I thought we got along, my mistake. Still we made the best of it. I left that job hospital job 2 years later and never looked back.
I’d had been home off and on before I began working full time again about 7 years ago. All the jobs I had I didn’t work weekends or holidays. That is now a requirement for me when I peruse job postings. Yes I know, sickness doesn’t take a holiday, blah, blah… I don’t feel bad to be home for the holidays. I chose to work as a school nurse and working Monday to Friday with holidays off is a wonderful perk. I also run my ass off most days so the students in my school receive the care they deserve. I don’t work as a school nurse who doles out bandaids and encounters stomach aches. I’m a proud school nurse who gives care to medically fragile, special education students so they have the opportunity to attend school.
You know what else doesn’t take a holiday? My son. There have been many holidays where Thomas’ behavior has shadowed a good time. Last year was no exception. I know you all know I love my son and I wouldn’t spend any holiday without him; I would just love it if he would chill for one of them, any of them. Thomas has made big strides in his behavior, however he has never not been high maintenance, even as a young child. Sometimes it’s amusing and other times not funny at all. This year we have chosen to stay home. It’s worth it to be able to bring Thomas home if he starts in since the group home is only 10 minutes away. As high maintenance as my son can be I still wouldn’t change him for the world. He’s not the same person he was when he was a teen and neither am I. We’ve both grown and changed into better versions of ourselves. He hugs me these days and kisses me on the cheek. He never used to. And when he started I was so happy. Simple, take for granted actions from your child such as a hug and a kiss. I always hug my girls and I tell all my kids and my husband that I love them when we leave each other. Even if it’s just a trip to the store. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving !!
Twenty six years ago we said “I do.” I remember how solemn I felt taking those vows. There’s not much I have not remembered about that day as most brides do vividly remember their wedding day. Tommy and I lived together for 9 months before we were married. It was a nice time and I never pretended we were married, we were too busy planning the actual wedding. I remember after saying those vows feeling different towards Tommy, not in a bad way but more like we were now one, our own little family and it was official. We were married in the eyes of God and the law. To me getting married was much more than a “piece of paper”. It was promising in the presence of God to stay by each other parting only by death. That’s heavy and sobering.
Every marriage has highs and lows, peaks and valleys, good times and horrible times. But when you’re able to overcome those lows and times in the valley you grow. You grow as a person and you could even grow together as a couple. My marriage is far from perfect. I don’t know anyone who’s marriage is perfect. And if they say it is they’re lying. I have no perfect advice to give to newlyweds. What works for one couple may not work for another. Some people have to go to bed angry or they will be up all night arguing, going around in circles and that’s not healthy either.
I was friends with my husband before we started dating. It was nice to have had that time with Tommy. We went to concerts, hung out together with no pressure. However I remember one of my good friends back in high school mentioning that she was interested in him and when I told Tommy about her I downplayed the whole thing and made it seem like they wouldn’t be a good match. It was then that I realized I wanted him for myself. And the rest as they say is history. Twenty six married years later we are still friends. To this day he makes me laugh like no other. We’ve laughed together at the most inappropriate situations and we’ve cried together at the saddest of times. I think you need to cry together at least once, we are only human.
So tonight a day late, we are celebrating the 26 years we’ve been married. We began dating when we were 17 years old so we’ve been together at total of 32 years. Wow that’s a lot of years. I don’t often calculate that total. We’ve been fortunate in many ways over the years. I’d say the good times outweigh the bad times. And that’s good.
A friend I haven’t had any contact with for the past 20 years or so is now in my life. It’s amazing, we first spoke in the phone and talking was easy. I know thats the mark of a true friend is that you both can go a very long time without talking and pick up like nothing has happened. I do have other friends like that in my life already. This is the first time I’ve gone that many years without any sort of contact and then the next thing I know, we are talking to each other with the ease we’ve had before.
Of course things have happened to us in both our lives that neither knew about. My friend had no idea what we went through with Thomas and I had no idea what she’s been through with her family members. I know her early history but that’s where my knowledge of her story ends. I did not enjoy hearing what she went through but I’m glad she trusted me enough to tell; and I felt the same trust keeping my friend up to date on different aspects of my life. It’s amazing and I have to say she looks the same!! Twenty years have been very kind to my friend!
Twenty years. That’s a long time. But I trust that God had his reasons for the separation and now the reconciliation. I’m looking forward to spending more time with her in person and talking on the phone and having dinner dates with our husbands. It really is such a good thing.