a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Three Years


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190- After the Ceremony in the Sanctuary

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Four and a half years ago I was once again checking in to a Continental flight from Houston to Newark on my way back to Rutgers after spring break. While at the curb side check in, the attendant asked, "Would you like to change your seat?"

"Where am I sitting now?" I asked.

"On the isle about midway back," he replied.

"No, I'll stay there then. Thank you."

When I'm traveling with someone, I prefer the window so I can look out, but alone I go for the isle. I like the isle seat so I stand up quickly at the end of the flight and don't have to crawl over any one if I need to come or go. Plus, you never know when you're going to get stuck sitting next to Fat Tony and the extra breathing room the isle seat affords can be heaven sent. I had an isle seat, so I saw no reason to change.

Like I said, you never know who you're going to end up sitting next to on flights, and I usually try to be friendly but aloof, often putting in earphones immediately after saying hi to make it clear I'd rather not spend three hours talking to a complete stranger about their dog's latest haircut or whatever; we've all sat next to someone and found ourselves entangled in a painful conversation, unable to break free. That day I had a book I needed to have read over spring break (and didn't), The Good Soldier. It was for an honors seminar on "The Puzzle Novel" and I had to be ready to discuss it by the second day of classes after the break. I was going to need the 3 hours on the plane to try and make up for my slacking over the holiday.

I didn't get a single page read that day, because as fate would have it, I didn't sit next to Fat Tony, but instead, shared the row with Justin Watson. He boarded after me, and stopped at my row after I was already seated and settled. Let's just say I didn't mind getting up to let him in. Once we were both settled again, I went back to "reading," although I think my eyes were really just skimming the page as I tried to casually glance his direction now and then. He told me later that he sat there "reading," doing the same thing, trying to think up a good way to open up a conversation. "So, what brings you to Newark?" he asked me. The only pause in the conversation came three hours later when we realized that we had landed in New Jersey.

There was no way for me to know that day that I would meet the man I would marry, and I sometimes muse about how awestruck we would have been in that moment had we known the full gravity of that first chance encounter. Today is the third anniversary of our wedding, and every day has been better than the one before it. We've had our share of trails for sure in the last three years, but every hardship has been more than offset by joy. In Justin, I have a man who supports me for who I am and encourages me to keep growing to become the person I have the potential to be. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and often knows me better than I know myself. He truly listens. He inspires me because he acts on his beliefs and in so doing, he willingly makes sacrifices so that complete strangers can have the ability to act on their own. His creativity sparks my own.

So, happy anniversary, Sweetheart! I love you more than I can ever say, and I'm so happy to be walking this road with you.

3 comments:

Kathy said...

Happy Anniversary to my Michele and to Justin! Has is really been three years!? WOW!

Love you bunches,
Aunt Kathy

Write Softly said...

Happy belated anniversary! Yours was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever had the honor to witness. I feel lucky to have been there. And even before that day, I think I saw the wedding coming -- at David and Denise's wedding, I remember the look on your face when Justin arrived from the airport, just in time. I saw forever in the smile you gave him.

I am so happy for you both.

screamy mimi said...

Thank you both!!!

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