As I write this I am laying in bed wishing I was tired enough to go to sleep. But I'm not. I'm wide awake. I've been messing around on Facebook updating somethings for my church's Facebook group and I just happened to look over at my clock radio to see the time. Well, I saw that it was 12:30 something, and then I noticed the date. 12/14. It was eleven years ago today, my wife, Janelle, and I started dating. It too was on a Sunday, 12/14/1997. I was 18 and you don't want to know how old she was. *cough* 15 *cough* I think about the age now and how crazy it was! In my defense I had no idea she was 15 when we started talking she did not look or act that young. And by the time I did find out it was to late; I liked her to much to turn back. We met at a bible study a few months before and we saw each other at the church I started to attend a few months before that. After getting to know her at church and bible study I decided I wanted to take her out. So me and a friend of mine took Janelle and a friend of hers out to look at Christmas lights and then went back to her parent's place to watch a movie. (Lame, yes, but I was 18 and had no money.) :) That happened on 12/13. The next day she was dancing in some Christmas program at FSK Mall in Frederick, MD, which is about 30-45 minutes from me. I decided I would show up and surprise her. At that point we had still made no mention about how we felt about each other and our 'date' the night before was officially 4 friends just hanging out. While the Christmas dance thing was going on, Janelle's sister's boyfriend at the time (got all that) pulled me aside and begged me to say something to her, because she was driving him nuts with questions. (He and I went to school together, so she thought he might know something, which he didn't.) So, after the program as we were walking to the parking lot through J.C. Penny I told her how I felt. That is how it all started. She was and is my first and last girl friend. I knew I was going to marry her when I met her, and here we are 11 years later.
For the next 8 months we could only see each other if her 12 year old brother was with us, and he was always with us. We didn't hold hands until that May and didn't kiss until that August. It was in August that she turned 16 and her parents allowed her to officially date. Her parents were overbearing and strict, and I will now be even more overbearing and strict with my daughter. (Her boyfriends will hate me.) :)
A year after she graduated high school we got engaged, and a year after that, on September 15, 2001 we were married. Yes, that was 4 days after the attacks. I feel that our wedding actually started to bring healing and hope to some who attended, though. It was a celebration of life that needed to occur at that time. A celebration of a 4 year relationship that was now bringing 2 lives into one accord. While lives were being torn apart by hate, our wedding was a needed light of lives coming together in love. At the very least it was an escape from news to normalcy for a few hours.
Four years later in May 2005 more life was given to us with the birth of our little boy, and the miraculous healing of Janelle's dad from a major brain aneurysm. Three years after that, just this past May we were blessed with life again in the form of a little girl, and another miraculous healing for Janelle's dad, this time from a massive heart-attack. (We now tell him not to make us mad or we will have another kid.) :)
This all started 11 years ago today. Now we have been married for a little over 7 years and I love her more today than I ever have. I honestly think that she doesn't have a clue how much I appreciate and need her. She is what makes our home. It is because of her that it is a place of refuge and peace. (At least as peaceful as a house with a 3 year old and a 6 month old can be.) She is the one that keeps me on track, that keeps me organized, that takes care of the details so I can take care of business. She supports my dreams and at the same time keeps me grounded as my level head. She truly is my other half. As Adam in the book of Genesis in the bible said, 'she is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone'. We are one. I love you, Janelle, happy 11 years.