I find it hard to believe we’ve been married for 15 years of mostly bliss. Every marriage has difficulty, and plenty of sin. Hopefully there are plenty of good times, and laughter as well. Yesterday I was pondering some of the “memorable” moments, not necessarily highlights, of our marriage. We took a walk before the snow started to fall, and talked about some of these moments.
The First 5 Years:
The other day CavWife mentioned to someone we did Sonship as newly weds. I took a week of Study Leave and we went to Orlando, staying in someone’s house. It was an intense time as she struggled with suddenly going from hyper-thyroid to hypo-thyroid and I was dealing with some conflict/opposition in the church. But the conference laid a good, gracious foundation for our lives together. We’d need it over the years.
Our 1st Valentine’s Day together was something of a disaster. I had these great romantic plans- steak for dinner, homemade cheesecake and later…. Around 4 pm I ended up getting sick. Thoughts of romance went down the frequently flushing toilet.
Our 1st Christmas: she flew to upstate NY ahead of me since she wasn’t working and I had to Christmas Eve service to perform. The weather report said snow in Albany, but they’ve never closed the airport. We seemed to endlessly circle the airport in a holding pattern. They finally announced an open window, and we were third in line to land. Finally we started our descent … and then pulled up. They announced our window closed and we had enough fuel to go to Baltimore. So I spent the night in a hotel room in Baltimore and flying standby the next day. Being Christmas Day, just about everything was closed and I’d barely eaten. Thankfully a friend recently moved to Baltimore, and close to the airport. They fed me Christmas dinner leftovers while we caught up.
In 2004, while she was pregnant we experienced the “triple hurricane” extravaganza. The paths of 3 hurricanes crossed not far from our home after no hurricanes entering the county for 40 years. We were not in town for Charley. Morgan, who rented a room from us, was watching our dog and house. He and Huck headed to Jacksonville since the power went out. We lost 2 freezers full of food. We returned to a sea of blue-tarped roofs, and another hurricane coming our way. It hit the day Morgan was supposed to be out. We didn’t lose power which is great because we needed to dry a large number of towels. During the 3rd, our power went in the wee hours, prayed and sang hymns while water came in through our vent. Our neighbors let us have some electricity from their generator so we could run the refrigerator during the day and a fan at night. We’d drive during the day to enjoy the A/C.
One of the most difficult days was when CavWife was pregnant. We had an appointment for an ultrasound. The baby was too small. We needed a higher level ultrasound, so an appointment was made with a specialist… the next day. We both had a sleepless night anticipating the worst. Thankfully, while growth was inhibited it was not something serious. Which leads me to …
The birth of CavDaughter #1. CavWife was induced and things were “fast and furious” until they gave her the epidural. But that evening we were holding our daughter. It was awesome.
The Middle 5 Years:
Adopting was quite the process. In the midst of it, God was faithful. We adopted CavSon #1 without any debt despite the church closing. CavWife went to China while I stayed behind to take care of our daughter. Thankfully CavWife’s parents were in town because I was floored by a bad case of bronchitis. We would talk, using a cheap phone card, and a disaster was amazingly averted when her finger prints showed up at the consulate in the nick of time.
There was the argument in the Philadelphia airport on a quasi-candidating trip. It was my second trip to meet with the search committee. She recognized it wasn’t a good fit, but I saw the severance package which was about to end and this was the only egg I had in the basket. So, naturally our flight was delayed. They ended up turning me down, which was really good since it probably wouldn’t have gone well.
One of the saddest days was the day I put Huck down. He was a great dog, particularly with the kids. It broke my heart.
One Thanksgiving Eve I was working on our painting project and CavWife was calling me from the kitchen. I was close to finishing and didn’t want to be interrupted. But she put a knife thru a finger trying to pit an avocado (for Jamie’s Mexican salad?). She didn’t want the kids to freak out from the blood. Shortly thereafter she was trying to fly cross country with it bandaged, with 2 kids and their car seats on the plane.
We are still amazed at how God preserved us through a 2 1/2 year transition period between pastoral calls. At times I worked 3 jobs (one was as an EKG tech which may deserve its own post), but it was never enough. We used up the car fund, borrowed money from my parents, a friend paid for our health insurance … We had great friends who kept us sane, loving us well through the transition. This included meals together, Catan night, and watching our kids while we flew out to Arizona for my examination. They filled in for my in-laws since Daddy D was in the ER with renal failure. Thankfully we’ve been in AZ now for nearly 7 years and he’s still alive and kicking.
The “Last” 5 Years:
Adopting again, without incurring debt (again). Oh, the IRS made things interesting at times. But CavWife flew to the DRC this time. We are thankful for CavKids #3 & 4.
One day CavWife called from the Y parking lot. She’d tripped over the youngest and landed on her elbow. Contrary to my advice she didn’t go to the Urgent Care to get it x-rayed. With it in a sling, she flew to NY with the 4 kids. While there she decided to get it x-rayed to discover it was broken. It was not casted at that point, but there was plenty of time in therapeutic braces to regain extension.
In February 2014, she left late in the afternoon to go to the chiropractor in my car. The kids were playing in the back yard so I was in the hammock, listening to music, reading and enjoying a cigar. As a result, I missed the first phone call. She was t-boned in front of the chiropractor’s office and so began our long, disappointing experience with the civil legal system. The opposing counsel is the only person who has ever called CavWife “reckless”. We were amazed.
I love those moments when the 4 kids are all together, laughing and playing. I love the moments they give of themselves to one another.
When CavDaughter #1 became a communing member of the church.
CavWife and I both say her hysterectomy was “the best surgery ever!”
That one time one of our kids said “You’re the best parents ever!”