If you had told me I was going to meet my husband that night, I would have bet against it. I am a different person than I was. It was high school after all. Everyone changes and matures as they grow older. I know I did. I like to think we were stuck together by fate-God’s hand in the matter.
You see, he had a complete opposite personality from mine. I was eager to be social, talkative; he was quiet and withdrawn. He has grown and changed since we met 11 years ago for sure. I did not realize that a person can be quiet, guarded and withdrawn when they want to be sure they can trust and connect with someone else. It was not a dysfunction, it had a strong purpose.
We intimidated each other as opposites, I think. He was too quiet-which made me have to be the talker. I was talkative which forced him to talk more than he may have wanted. We are a perfect match now, but that was lost then.
He was so guarded on the outside. He held so much so close to his core-it was important to him, too important to share with ANYONE. I know that now. He could not share with a random person. No, that was saved for the trustworthy, reliable relationships-people who would truly get to know him.
I realized this a month after we both graduated from high school and he was a month deep into Marine Corps Recruit Training in San Diego, California. He and I started writing letters to each other while he was at boot camp just to be friendly. Reading what he was enduring at boot camp, what he was achieving, opened my eyes to his real potential. The sacrifice he was willing to make for his (our) country opened my eyes to his true character. Never judge a book by its cover is the saying, and it was true in this case.
Veteran’s Day offers a chance to reflect: I wish we still had those letters from boot camp. All the ways we were discussing mature thoughts and promises. It did not take us long to discuss the idea of marriage, moving where the Marine Corps sent him. I had said to other friends that I was sure I was going to marry him one day. Fate interceded when he received orders from the Marine Corps to move to Okinawa, Japan.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave my family at 18 years old.
It was very hard to turn away from our relationship and break up. I knew I loved him, but I needed more time. I needed to discover my potential. Of course I never really changed my mind about him. When you know someone would sacrifice their life for a cause bigger than themselves, it is hard to not love that.
We did eventually get back together and were married soon after. There was a why, and it led us to each other.
I think some days that I give too much as a stay-at-home mom, or do not get recognition for all I do, but when was the last time I said thank you to my husband for serving this country? When was the last time I said thanks for earning a paycheck that allows me to be a stay-at-home mom and care for our children and home? Not often enough.
Since I do not say thanks enough, I want to be sure I remember how important our love story is to our marriage success. If I remember the why of my marriage, the way it began, no problem or deployment can get in the way.
Veteran’s Day offers my family a chance to acknowledge the values my husband teaches our children with his job. It is a reminder of what brought us together to create a life and family together. I knew when we were writing letters to each other while he was at boot camp that this life was going to require a forever. I am glad that he is willing to work on forever with me even when that includes a lot of time apart. When my marriage is feeling strained, or challenging, I just remember the why, the reason we fell in love to begin with.
How did you meet your spouse? I’d love to read your why in the comments below.
I want to say a big thank you to my husband, and all the veterans out there that currently serve and have served. YOU matter, YOU are loved and I am so thankful for your service.
How you can thank a veteran this Veteran’s Day
If you see a military member in the airport, stop and say thank you.
If you see a retired veteran sitting in your local coffee shop, stop by and tell them you appreciate what they sacrificed.
Donate to charities that support Veteran’s needs.
No gesture of thanks is too small. I am proud to partner with Great Clips to get the word out about their Veteran’s Day haircut thank you to vets! Active or retired military members get free haircuts or a free haircut card on November 11th, and any customer who gets a Great clips haircut on November 11th receives a free haircut card to give to a veteran.
Only veterans and active members of the military are eligible to redeem the free haircut card. (Family members of said military members do not qualify.)
About Great Clips
With more than 3,800 salons throughout the United States and Canada, Great Clips is the world’s largest salon brand. Great Clips salons employ nearly 35,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn the Great Clips customer care system and advanced technical skills. Great Clips salon owners and corporate office are dedicated to our salon communities with a focus on philanthropic and volunteer activities.
This is the third year Great Clips is running this promotion, and Great Clips is the only major salon brand that offers customers a way to thank the veterans in their lives! Thank the veterans in your life and visit your local Great Clips on November 11th to redeem a free haircut card to share with a veteran of choice!
Who are the Veteran’s in your family?