You probably know how sometimes you are reading a post in someone’s blog or somewhere on the internet, and then you go to one of their links and maybe then to another one, and then you’ve spent the rest of your day? Some times my brain goes from one thought to another. Or one memory to another. Jumping back years in just few seconds. Memories. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? Well this time it wasn’t quite a whole day that I spent going through the internet, but I skipped around in many years of memories, and it was fun.
I was reading Alicia’s blog the other day, at Posie Gets Cozy, which by the way, their daughter is such a cutie… she reminds me a bit of my Siena when she was little, with her big eyes and long hair…. I then decided to check the blogs Alicia likes on her list, and I found Anne at City Country City. I found a beautiful post she wrote few years ago. It’s about her parents’ 38th wedding anniversary, but the writing is mostly about her parents wedding ceremony in the seventies.
With Mark we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year, and even though it sounds like a cliche… time has passed so fast. I can’t really count all the things and adventures and stories we’ve had in these 20 years of marriage. I can’t tell either all the stories we’ve had since we met, in high school. Because by far now, Mark has been part of most of my life.
About this exact date, 28 years ago, I said goodbye to him when I left to my own exchange student experience. Little did I know it was just the first goodbye, but there were many more hellos coming our way. I met him in our first day of class on a March morning. I was returning from the (Chilean) summer break (December through March) and I was going into my junior year in high school. Mark had just arrived in Chile from the US, as an exchange student in my school, in my class. I remember as if it was today the day I met him. I was just 15 years old (I can’t find a picture of us at that age yet… I will have to dig out some photo albums put away.)
There is lots to tell about between that first day when we met each other, and the day we got married. We were still young, I was barely 23, and we decided we were ready to spend our lives together. It seemed right. And it was right.
There is really little in my life, that Mark has not been part of. It is funny to think of that, but it is true, and it makes me feel even much closer to him. Because he knows pretty much everything about my life. From my teenage years, to my young adult life, and becoming adults, and then turning into a Mamá, and the person I am today.
In celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this year, my heart warms, and expands over many years of stories. We’ve had days where we each went to work and got together for dinner to then go back out the door again the next day. Busy, working in jobs. Then Mark was going to school full time and working full time. Our days were busy in a very different way they are today. We saw each other very little, while he was doing everything at the same time.
Back then, still without kids, we’d go to Powell’s leasurely on our lunch break and hang out. Read books, have a coffee. There were many weekends were we stayed home resting, not doing much, or maybe knitting, or brewing beer, gardening, reading, listening to music…. nowhere to go, just being here.
Few trips later, and many years later, our days were filled with diaper changes, laundry of tiny socks and onesies, and nursing and burping. Our lives changed drastically, not unexpected, because we were ready for that change (though unknown to what it would look like), but then this amazing adventure of beginning a family had begun.
I remember like today the day we brought our first little person home from the hospital. We had left as a couple and came home as a family of three. With the beginning of a new life we never even imagined. It was the most special feeling. One (of two) of the best trips back from the hospital I’ve ever had.
Today, as the kids have grown a little, our days are spent together in deeper conversations with them. Talking about the importance of friendships, the importance of being truthful, lending a hand together to our neighbors and to our friends when they need us. Talking about the why’s of Harry Potter or Dr. Seuss or the funny conversations of Minions in the Despicable Me movies or dialogs in Ice Age or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Also, about the importance of caring for each other and our community. We’ve grown together learning how to live in a new country, trying to understand a new culture, a new language and getting to know new friends, while living in India.
There are so many stories, so many adventures together. There has been about 179,520 hours of marriage plus 78,840 hours of friendship before that. A total of 258,360 hours (aproximately) of knowing Mark that has turned our friendship into marriage and into this beautiful and most important friendship it is right now. Over one quarter of a million hours of friendship and love. Because I believe ours was love at first sight.
When I think of us, I see us as a young family. When I see us in between everyone and everything around us, I notice time has passed since we first became a family, twelve years ago. Our neighbors of 19 years, that have become our friends, have seen us grow up as a couple to the parents and family we are today. And I find that a special treat for us. Something so very special we treasure with all of our heart.
When we share the stories, the pictures, the memories, the details of our wedding day with our kids, it seems like a long time since we were there. Just how Anne wrote in her blog post about her parents’ wedding day in the 70’s, I wonder what Lucas and Siena will think or talk about our wedding day when they grow up. “Their parents wedding in the 90’s.” Or maybe it will be “the wedding in the 1900’s.”
My parents had their 50th wedding anniversary few years ago, and my brothers and I, with our families, all gathered together with them to celebrate. It was a small celebration of their wedding day, 5o years later. I don’t know many details from their wedding day. They’ve never really talked much about it to me, but I think their wedding wasn’t a big celebration. But this time, we celebrated happily together.
We have lots of photos. I am one to always be with my camera in front of my nose, and want to keep all these memories for later.
Mark and I have that Wedding Day Photo Album in our shelf too. That reminds us of all of our family and friends who were there to celebrate with us 20 years ago. So much have changed in all these years. So very much. It is fascinating to think of all the things we’ve done, and created, and have made that makes up our days, the lives of today. The biggest ones sitting right next to us every day at the dinner table. Incredible. An incredible life and adventure I am lucky to be part of. And then being able to continue building and creating this story of ours, with my best friend, the best person I’ve ever met. How lucky is that.
I will take few days off, without internet, and will continue next week with more of our adventures and some makings it’s been happening around here. Have a beautiful weekend wherever you are.