Thursday, June 30, 2011 year in

So it's been a whole year since we took those sacred vows, made our families cry, and dressed up like princesses and penguins for a day of overly priced luxuries and dancing.  To me though, it doesn't feel like much "mentally" has changed.  As a matter of fact, I'd probably forget I was even married at all if it weren't for this annoying wedding band that keeps endlessly turning around my finger.  Sometimes our wedding day just feels like some fantastic party we attended, where we somehow made out with some pretty expensive parting gifts.

And I believe I feel this way because today, even a whole year after we took those vows, we are both the same people, feeling the same amount of love towards each other that we did before we said I do.  Marriage hasn't changed our relationship one bit.  There wasn't a honeymoon period or the shock of facing reality.  We just kept on going the same way we have for nearly nine years like nothing ever happened.

I guess the way we are is just a side effect of being together for so damn long.  I mean, the longer two people are together, the more time there is to see the very worst side of the person you're in love with.  And if that worst side is bearable enough, you simply stay together.  Those couples who are together just a short period of time before marriage though, tend to go through phases of love and hate at a more destructive pace,  stumbling onto those unexpected relationship realities with ignorant eyes and naive hearts.

One of the best things I've learned about marriage was at a religious seminar I was forced into going to by the priest who married us.  It was a six hour course on the pros and cons of being married.  I couldn't tell you half of what I learned that day, but the one thing that stuck with me was this:  A relationship is an endless circle of love and hate that keeps turning around and around day in and day out. (kind of like my ring).  Some days we may be in love up to our ears, while the next day we could be swearing and screaming bloody murder at the top of our lungs.  While the next day we could feel an utter appreciation for each other.  It might sound like common sense but in hearing this, I soon realized that I'm not always going to feel love for my husband at every moment of every day, and that is perfectly alright.

As some close to me know, the history of my husband and I getting together was more of a zigzag then a straight line.  Fate seemed against our relationship in the beginning, but soon the clouds parted, the sun came out, and it began to rain.  But that rain was the sweetest rain I had ever tasted.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Life's briefness...another sad lesson.

It's something we all do.  Complain about the small and meaningless things in life like a scratch on our car or a bad lunch.  The things that are stupid and petty.  But we all do it.  And it's sad to think that in most cases, it takes a horrible tragedy for us to even think about pausing our complaints for even a moment.  For us to realize that our grumblings are in fact quite insignificant compared to what really matters in life.  And unfortunately,  today I got one of those wake up calls. 

The minute I viewed my friend's Facebook page this morning, and saw the first RIP on the very top, my heart immediately sank.  And then, the list grew. People I knew and didn't know started flooding his page with heartfelt and sad comments.  His amazing life cut short by a simple kayak ride the very day he was to leave from his honeymoon...and begin the rest of his life.  

I hadn't spoken to him in years, only occasionally checking in on him online. Never for a moment thinking that the tiny kid on my father's baseball team, would one day be able to break my heart in such a way.   

So today I vow to forget those stupid and trivial worries that plague my mind on a daily basis.  And try to remember the bigger things...and how short life truly is.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Grandfather's Garden

It’s hard to believe, now more than a decade after his death, that I didn’t cry at my own grandfather’s funeral.  I remember trying to force the moisture from my eyes on several occasions with no luck whatsoever. The pain I felt was distant, like a tiny tinge of detached grief stemming purely from the back of my adolescent imagination.  It all being a complete contrast to my maternal grandfather's funeral years later, where I cried for days on end, considering it one of the worst days of my life.  

My paternal grandfather though, was a man of little emotion.  A man who would relentlessly criticize my father for being too warm and sentimental. His life lived with a tough hand and stubborn demeanor, driving my grandmother to divorce while making it clear to my father that he would never be good enough. 

In recalling the years I did have with him, I can honestly say that his presence was neither missed nor felt.  He was just this shadow of a person who seemed to blend into the blur of childhood.  Thinking back, my only clear memory of him begins with the smell of his cigar and that very moment when its scorching end imprinted its fiery force into my tiny hand.  I also remember him being so sorry for what he had done, never imagining the literal mark that moment would forever leave.  

So sadly, for most of my life thus far, I've been carrying around a terrible image of this man.  An image that made me feel angry, numb, and sometimes sad. But, with living comes wisdom, and one day, as his face randomly entered my mind, I suddenly realized that he had indeed tried to open up to me and to all of us.  Unfortunately, nobody had wanted to see.   As long as I could remember, he, with the help of my grandmother, had always kept an enormous garden filled with various vegetables.  Although my grandmother had left him years before, he continued to maintain this garden, just one person growing for many.  A short time before he died though, he began leaving fresh vegetables from this garden on my parent's front step.   In looking back, I realize now that in the end, even though he could never put it into words, my grandfather had finally found a way to say I love you.