Today holds some very good memories for me. It also brings a lot of heartbreak. Each year, I try to see the blessings in both. I'm sure that the more years pass, the more my memories are going to fade until the two events cancel each other out. For right now, one is still amazingly lovely, and the other a tangible test of my faith.
As a woman with 20 years behind me (barely), I was lost, confused, and living on my mother's couch (literally). I had dropped out of college, moved in with my mom, dated a few guys, learned some painful life lessons, and was sure my life was over. I lived in a very dark place internally, and honestly didn't think I would ever recover. So when this random guy I had talked to a few times asked me on a date, I thought little of it. After all, they were all the same, and not right for me. I agreed to go with him though. Why? Because his smile nearly melted me to my core.
When he picked me up that afternoon, I had no idea what I was in store for. I was more than a little surprised when he pulled in at the little local drive in restaurant, Ford's, so he could order me a cinnamon Coke, one of his favorite treats. While we were there, he took the T-tops off his car so we could soak in the wonderful May sunshine. (I didn't tell him that it bothered me to have my hair blowing around in my face until our second date. That's when I left a ponytail holder in his car so it wouldn't matter the next time.)
We drove along the river with our cinnamon Cokes, laughing, talking, realizing I really enjoyed his company. He took me to the fish hatchery. (Nothing says "romantic first date" like a zillion little fishy kiss lips.) We spent a lot of time at the park wandering and talking. My heart wasn't dark that day, and it felt good. I really hated to see it end. Nothing can go on forever, so eventually he drove me back to my mom's house, to my little couch, and I thought I'd be overtaken again. As it turned out, he didn't want the day to end either, so after we ate dinner with our own families, he picked me up again and we made the date epic. That's right. We went to see Titanic in the theater. I had seen it before, and Leonardo DiCaprio still died, but even that couldn't bring me down. I was happy. Happy was something I hadn't felt in months, and I liked it.
That first date was May 5th, 1998. PJ and I got married that December, and just celebrated our 11th anniversary. God knew exactly what He was doing when He got us together. I may have doubts about a lot of things, but my feelings for my husband aren't in that category.
Now, that's a nice story, and I'm sure you have a silly smile on your face, but our story turned around on May 5th, 2007. I knew it was coming because my midwife had confirmed it a week before. I still just wish it hadn't turned May 5th so bittersweet in my heart. Knowing that I had two babies inside me who hadn't grown, who didn't thrive, who wouldn't live nearly tore me apart. My body chose one of my happiest memory days to reject my precious babies. I miscarried, forever dulling the good memories just enough that I'm never sure if I should smile or cry when this day rolls around. Usually before the day is over, I do a little of both, and my heart is cleansed for tomorrow.