Stitches and Moving

A week from today Tommy and I will have been married 20 years. No matter how many times I think about it, it still blows my mind. I think about our beginning years and having Thomas so early in our marriage. Then Alyssa exactly 2 years later. All in all it’s been 20 years, 4 kids and 3 houses. Amazing if you ask me. There were many arguments and tears along the way as well as much happiness and blind loving trust. Plenty of prayer.  A friend recently told me that Tommy and I are an anomaly. I laughed at that statement. Maybe we are. Especially with all we’ve been through with Thomas. I was thinking this morning about Thomas and the rough times. I was also thinking about the times of God shining through those rough times. There was one instance that Thomas fell flat on his face literally. (His reflexes are slow so if he falls forward his arms don’t shoot out as fast as yours or mine do.) Thomas broke his braces, his front teeth and required stitches on his upper lip and chin. When I saw him right after he fell I had to hold on to the bathroom sink to keep me from falling due to my knees going week. It was bad.

So off to the ER we went. And the staff there was wonderful to him and me. I managed to get a hold of our dentist and orthodontist who gave me instructions and were also wonderfully supportive giving me their personal cell phone numbers in case I needed them again. We decided not to wait for a plastic surgeon and the ER doc stitched Thomas up after numbing the area. I remember I was crying on and off for Thomas. I felt so bad for him. At one point I was holding Thomas’ hand and he was looking up towards the ceiling. He had a peaceful smile on his face and when I looked into his eyes I swear I saw the peace of the Lord. Thomas’ face was shining. I’ve never seen that peace in someone’s eyes before and I haven’t seen it again since. It was as if he just knew everything was going to be ok and everything was ok. The ER doc did a great job in stitching him up and the next day we saw the dentist and thankfully Thomas didn’t break his teeth far enough to require root canals. Our dentist was able to repair his teeth with bonding.

It’s time like these I know the Lord was with us. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday Thomas told me he saw an angel watching over him while in the ER. I know we’ve had many times in these past 20 years where the Lord certainly had his hand in watching over our marriage. When we moved back here from New Jersey I swear there was “something” working against us. There was roadblock against roadblock placed in our path during the sale of that house. Earlier that summer we had bought a storage shed for the backyard. According to the NJ inspector the shed was too close to the property line. So Tommy had to get all these guys from work to come over and move the dang shed. The inspector didn’t even want to measure the distance afterwards, just a glance and said, “Its fine”. I was so irritated I insisted he measure. The buyers pretty much demanded our refrigerator. It was not in the listing at all. They started threatening to cancel the sale if we didn’t include it. Somehow our agent smoothed it out that we were able to keep the fridge. And we didn’t even have a traditional closing. We did it separately where the buyers met with their attorney and signed the papers then Tommy and I met with our attorney to sign.It all culminated to an end where we had no house to go to for 4 days after the closing of the New Jersey house. Somebody dropped the ball and we to this day don’t know who. Luckily we had multiple family members who let us stay with them until we closed on the new house. But the Lord was watching us and got us out of the great Garden State. I know that.

So being married for almost 20 years I can say I’m definitely not an expert on relationships. And I wish I had pearls of wisdom to depart. I only know what I’ve lived and what our family has experienced and born witness to. 19 years and 51 weeks of marriage. Pretty cool.

20 Years Ago…

wedding invite With each believing the other to be a giver of love a sharer or sorrow a bringer of joy and a reason for life, Menay Audra and Thomas James and their parents request the honour of your presence…

I was thinking last night about my anniversary that is coming up in November. Tommy and I will be married 20 years. 20 years… I was thinking about what we were doing 20 years ago. Preparing for our wedding and living in the coolest apartment ever with one of the best neighbors (Steve~may he rest in peace) living upstairs in an equally cool apartment. The invitations were out and we were either awaiting the RSVP’s or already counting who would be attending. I was working as an RN at a local hospital and Tommy was an HVAC mechanic working for a local heating, oil, and air conditioning company. Life was sweet. We were 25 years old with great jobs, great cars/truck and no kids.  We had yet to buy a house but already knew what it was like to pay rent, pay utilities, and make payments on new cars. We lived together for 6 months before we were married. I wouldn’t change anything as those 6 months are part of our history together and helped shape who we are today.

I remember Tommy expecting dinner when he got home from work and I would be out and about with my sister or mother and shopping during dinner time. It was one of our “adjustment” arguments. I had no idea how to put a dinner together and I was so proud of myself for making a bowl of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Just spaghetti, no meat or salad or italian bread even to accompany it. Tommy gently explained his expectations and I remember thinking “Ooooooooh!” I can laugh about it now but I felt incredibly dumb back then. There were plenty of life lessons and learning what it was like to live with someone that was not your family.

Our upstairs neighbor, Steve would often drop by for dinner and it was fine as we enjoyed his company. Many a romantic dinner for 2 turned into a casual dinner for 3.  At one point we joked that we were the opposite of “Three’s Company”. I’m glad we had that time with him.

I loved our life back then. We were truly on our own and we paid for our own wedding and honeymoon. I’m still proud of us. I would go back in a heartbeat and relive that time if I could.  November rolled around soon enough and my fiancee became my husband. 20 years later we’re still here, together; waiting for November 12th to come up so we can finally celebrate.