My husband and I are marking 28 years of marriage this coming Saturday. We first met when I was a mere 19 years old and then our paths did not cross again for 6 months. When we did bump into each other again, it was one of those moments when time just stands still and everything around you seems to fade away. From that night on, we knew that we did not want to be with anyone else. We just "clicked" and we inseparable. :) We spent the next year and a half getting to really know each other before we were married.
I was really blessed to have the love and support of my husband's parents right from the first time I met them. They are warm, loving people who welcomed me into their home and heart. It was Christmas Eve and I was missing my own family who were back in Hawaii. We were meeting my then to be future inlaws at a Christmas Eve service at the same church they had been married at years before. To say I was nervous would be a huge understatement. What if they didn't like me? I had already fallen in love with their son and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I felt like I was on the most important "interview" of my life. I needn't have worried, they literally welcomed me with open arms, hugs, and even Christmas presents. I could not have felt more at ease and at home with them. I feel so blessed to have shared such a loving relationship with them for a little over 29 years now.
My family fell in love with my husband before they even met him. They knew that I had found someone special and that I could trust with my heart. I had some huge walls built up due to past hurts but through his patience, support, love and kindness, those walls came down. I had never been able to trust anyone like I trusted him...I knew deep down in my soul that he would not hurt me. My grandmother also knew instinctively, that he was the man for me and knew that we would be married and that he would take care of me. My grandmother was my biggest cheerleader and supporter up until that point in my life and she and I were extremely close. Sadly, she died before Jeff and I got engaged and never got to meet him. My parents and brothers finally got to meet Jeff after we got engaged and they too "clicked" with him immediately. My parents could see the same qualities that I saw in him and my younger brothers were thrilled at the thought of having such a nice big brother who made their older sister so happy. My husband shares a great relationship with my parents and brothers, our sweet sister-in-law who is married to my baby brother and our adorable nephews. We all enjoy spending time together. My sister, who lives in Tahiti, has yet to meet him and he her, but we really hope to have that happen sometime soon.
Over the many years we have been together, there have been a lot of changes in our own immediate family. We were blessed with 3 amazing sons, home schooled them for most of their childhood and saw them all venture out on their own and be strong, confident and independent men while still sharing and valuing that close family connection. Our twins have found and married wonderful women and by doing so, blessed us with 2 daughters that we love with all our hearts. We also have become grandparents for the first time to our grandson Bradley who will be a big brother in July!
Like every married couple, we have gone through some very difficult times but what has gotten us through it all is the promise we made to each other early on...that whole "till death due us part" part of the vows...we took that seriously. We have learned some important lessons along the way. We learned how to make the most of what we have and to truly appreciate it. We learned to work as a team towards our goals in life. We learned to never let anyone come between us, not even friends or family. We learned to compromise, sacrifice, to say sorry, to put each others and our childrens' needs above our own in different seasons of our lives. We have learned that no matter what, we are stronger together and can weather any storm. Most of all, we have learned that marriage and love evolves and changes over time. Each season brings new challenges and new blessings. We are each others best friend, strongest supporter and to be honest, we would be lost without each other. No matter how hard things have been at times, I would still say yes. I cannot imagine my life with anyone else.