Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Memories & History

Our first "date": Oct 13, 1996

My head holds dates and history well.  Want to know the date of any event, ask me. Don't ask me about Bible verses or Kreyol words or midwifery terminology or anything of any consequence. If you want to know what date I brought Britt to an emergency room as a five year old because she had not pooped in two weeks,  seriously, just ask, I am happy to tell you.

Even though our first date happened in 1996, Troy had met me four years earlier in 1992 and hated me. He recalls returning to the people we worked for and telling them, "Never make me work with that girl again." The four years that passed between 1992 and 1996 must have softened me (and reduced the size of my bangs) and he found me attractive in October of 1996. He had no idea I was the same girl he loathed in '92.   The confusing thing was, in those four years I had Paige and became a single mom of two.  When Troy asked me out he was only aware of one of my two girls. We were 21 and 24 years old.

Sunday afternoon, October 13, Troy came out to my parents house where I was living at the time and we left to go roller-blade around a nearby lake.  I remember wondering why he wanted to be my friend. That seemed fishy to me. Because I am three years older and was a mom of two, on that first date I hadn't yet figured out that he had an interest deeper than friendship.  Call me stupid.

After we talked and skated around the lake a while we came back to my parents house and hung out for a couple of hours.  That evening we took Britt and my sister Tina and went to a pumpkin farm to go on a haunted hay-ride.  The only thing either of us vividly remember about that night is that Britt, age 6, was freaked out by the scary guys along the path that kept jumping out at us and at one point when we were walking she got really scared and exclaimed - "Tell them I'm a lesbian!!"   We laughed so hard at her choice of words and confirmed that she had no idea what a lesbian was.

Later that month I had planned a trip to Omaha to see my grandparents.  I asked Troy if he wanted to come with me.  We both laugh at the ridiculous flirting and romance that developed on that road trip to Nebraska. It was on that trip that Troy first told me he loved me.  I remember being so afraid to hope that Troy might be the one.

My Granddad was a surly old guy with a soft heart toward his granddaughters and when I told him Troy was just my friend, he said some grumbly response about "what a bunch of horse-hockey" that was.  One night we went to get the best pizza in the world from Big Fred's Pizza. Troy drove; my grandpa sat in the front seat.  I sat in back.  Troy was making eyes at me in the rear-view mirror and missed a turn. My grandpa jumped on him, "Gee-horse-criminy, quit watching the girl and watch the road!"

My granddad died a few months after that, I am so thankful Troy got to meet him and we have those fun memories.

Troy and I were both pretty screwed up when we met. It is interesting to have the hindsight now to see the ways God used me to help Troy with his issues  - and Troy to help me with mine.  We had a rough road ahead of us; getting honest, receiving forgiveness, facing shame, and finally healing.  Those things happened slowly over the course of the next five years.  We've experienced the faithfulness of our Father over and over again. It has been a wild ride.

Dear Troy,
Happy 14 years since our first date. Can you believe all that has happened since October 13, 1996?  Cuh- razy! I am daily blessed by our deep friendship and your tenderness and love for me and my girls. You took on a ton as a 21 year old guy and I'm so grateful that you did 
I am more in love with you every day. I am proud of you and amazed by your love and integrity.
Should we go on a haunted hay ride tonight? I'll call Britt to see if she is available.  :) I love traveling through life with you by my side; I can't wait to see what happens next.

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise was for

Well ‘I do’ are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard is a good place to begin
Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price for the life that we have found

And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise was for
That’s what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I lose loves chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith
to the end of all my days
when I forget my name, remind me

Cause we bear the light of the son of man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadow lands
Till the shadows disappear
Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of this chaos baby
I can dance with you ...