Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - # 11 for me

I read a theory once that claimed that every person has 7-8 defining events in his life. The article explained that if a person can identify her own, personal defining events, she will understand much about her own personality. These events would help a person understand why she eats too much, or why he's depressed, etc. I don't remember many of the details of the theory, but I found it to be an interesting concept - defining moments - things that shape and define our personalities, characters, and actions.
Our anniversary was this week. We've been married 13 years! There are many defining events in our marriage - moments that have shaped our relationship, defined who we are as a couple, and made our union strong. Here are some defining moments from our 13 years.

1. 1994 - There's an old saying, "Anything that doesn't kill you will make you stronger." I think this adequately describes surviving the wedding and first year of marriage! New house, new neighborhood, new community, new job, new church, new roommate. Life was exciting and happy, but also full of uncertainties and new challenges. There were so many changes and so many things to get used to, that the first year together was quite an adjustment! A good adjustment, but an adjustment none-the-less. We learned to compromise, talk about things, and include each other in our dreams, hopes and aspirations.

2. 1995 - We bought our first house together. We searched together, we talked about our dream houses together, we toured the house we chose several times together, we packed together, we moved together, we unpacked together, and we made millions of little house decisions together. I don't remember a single argument, but I remember many nights spent talking and dreaming about our future together.

3. 1996 - After many tests, repeated exams with different doctors, and medications to try to determine why we were having such difficulty getting pregnant, I had surgery. This was our first opportunity to join forces and overcome a very personal, intimate, emotional struggle together.

4. 1997 - B was born. Our first child was desperately wanted and difficult to get into this world. I hemorrahged at 26 weeks putting both the baby and myself in jeopardy. After that, I was put on complete bed rest for the remainder of the preganancy. I was allowed to sit up in bed for 30 minutes a day - 10 minutes per meal. RJ waited on me hand and foot, and did many things that I never thought I'd ever have to ask someone to do for me. He used to bring a bucket into our room, and I'd lie sideways on the bed with my head off the side so he could wash my hair!

RJ's dad was diagnosed with Congestive heart failure and told the average life span of a person with his difficulties was 5 years.

5. 1998 - N was born. We were surprised and scared to death when we found out we were expecting! What if I had to go to bed with this pregnacy, too? With a tiny baby, being put on bed rest would be much harder this time. RJ is always very calm in these situations and was very matter-of-fact about it. We'd simply cross the bed-rest bridge when we got to it and thank goodness, we never got to it. He was my calm presence in a time of swirling activity and uncertainty. This pregnancy went by without a hitch and N was a beautiful, wonderful addition to our growing family!

6-7. 1999 -2000- Life changed drastically! It was exciting and wonderful to watch the girls grow! These two years are somewhat of a blur because there was basically no sleep. It seemed like B never slept and N had colic and cried from 8:00- midnight every night. Although we still attended church regularly, RJ and I slowly dropped out of our leadership roles and committee obligations at the church and concentrated on our lives at home. Our relationship changed dramatically. We were tired, but happy parents, and not just a couple anymore. We relied on each other for logistics of day-to-day life.

8. 2001 - E was born. The boy entered this world like a bolt of lightning and hasn't slowed down yet. Life felt full and our family felt complete. We were not trying to have a boy after having 2 girls. We've been asked that question many times. But, for some reason, 3 children felt right and IS right. We were at peace and at home with our family of 5. We had routines down pat and our teamwork made life clicked along well.

Then, RJ's mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had surgery, and told that most women in her condition live 4-5 years.

My mom had gall bladder surgery that was terribly botched and had several more surgeries to repair the damage. She fought to recover as RJ's mom began chemotherapy and fought for her life.
9. 2002 - After a fairly routine heart cath procedure, my dad was sent directly to the hospital for quadruple bypass surgery.
10. 2003 - Family time was top priority.

11. 2004 - We, along with RJ's brother's family and sister's family, bought a farm house to use as a hunting lodge and weekend get-away. It was a good investment, and a wonderful place to go to escape from the daily hassles of life. Again, we found ourselves decorating a house, planning, and budgeting money.

12. 2005 - RJ's mom passed away. Our hearts were broken, and we clung together to get through the pain of losing her. We work together to keep her alive to our children who were very young at the time of her death.

13. 2006 - RJ's dad passed away. Again, our hearts were broken and we clung to each other. How do people get through tragedies like this without God and people they love to help them through it?

Conclusions? Our defining moments have made our relationship stronger. We have a deep, abiding love for each other cultivated by mutual respect. We are stongly committed to each other. We are happily content in each other's company. We are aware that life is fragile and that family is a gift from God and very precious. We support each other and compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses well. I thank God for our 13 years together and look forward to the next 13!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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Joan said...

Very interesting. Congratulations on your 13th anniversary!

mistihollrah said...

Happy Aniversary! Cool that you were able to make it into a TT!

We will be celebrating our 16th & my TT is ways to Honor my Husband over the next 30 days...up to our Anniversary.

Happy TT!

Jane said...

Happy Anniversary. My hubby and I will be celebrating 34 years in August! It goes by very fast.
Your insights were wonderful. That is the way things are supposed to be.
I really learned a lot about you Lyn. Thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

Great and inspiring reading! Thanks for sharing such a heart-warming T13.