It blows my mind to think that I met Peter by chance, fourteen years ago. Fourteen seems like such a big number. I was in high school when I was fourteen and, man, did I feel old! (Let's all laugh together on that one.) In some states, being fourteen can entitle you to a hardship drivers license. In some states, it is legal to marry (hey- in NH, you only have to be 13 if you are a girl!), (Canon Law sets 14 as the minimum age for a girl to marry, just as an FYI). So, suffice it to say, a lot can happen in 14 years.
And, 14 years later... We're still here. Still pounding away. Although our "anniversary" is still just shy of 2 months away, it is interesting for me to think of the couple we were...
We were told countless times by countless people that we didnt have a chance... That we were too young to make it... I suppose I can say that our kids take after us; the deck was stacked against them yet each one gave Fate the finger and took a dive ito the unknown. :)
It hasnt always been easy. But nothing worth its weight ever is, is it? We've had moments of struggle, times of grief, and episodes of pain in our nearly decade and a half, and yet, we're still standing. Still leaning against each other for support and balance. Still loving one another, unconditinally, completely.
I can still remember the first second I laid eyes on him. I wore pajama pants and a University of Alabama sweatshirt. My red hair was super short and messy; it was into the evening and my face was clean of make-up. He wore jeans and a white t-shirt with his (college Corps) Company logo on it. He sat in a chair in the midde of the room while I sat in the floor, on my makeshift bed (I was spending the night with a friend of his). As the evening progressed (and one of the roommates needed to sleep for a final), the three of us moved to the stairs outside, where we were joined by another friend. Minutes transtioned into hours. We sat on the stairs and he draped his arm around my shoulder in the most natural of gestures. We all eventually ended up in the college chapel before back to the dorms to go to sleep. I remember watching him walk the distance back to his own barracks as we went back to hers. And then he was gone from my sight.
But not my heart.
And I was changed- we were changed- forever. That one night, 14 years ago, for those few hours, changd everything. They took a girl and a boy who had never before crossed paths and set them on a journey that would take shape a mere 8 weeks later in the form of vows of marriage and commitment that would change the course of their lives forever. Their lives... Our lives.
We had a phrase we used to echo to one another that still finds a place in our lives now from time to time. No questions. No doubts. No regrets. And truly, although the path has been marked by rough walking at times, I wouldnt change a think.
Here's to us, Peter. Fourteen years from that chance encounter and going strong. I love you. :)