Saturday, December 29, 2007

Irish Heartbeat, More Than You Know......

leader of the pack.

        Yesterday, I read Carmi's post on 100 statements and decided to give it a whirl. Here is the result of my stream of conscious thoughts.

        1. My favourite flowers are tulips

        2. I carried them in my wedding bouquet 20 years ago today.
        3. Yes, today is my 20th wedding anniversary
        4. I married the kindest, handsomest, funniest man I know.
        5. A man who sings in the shower, who always thinks of others first, whose blue eyes smile.
        6. We decided to marry between Christmas and New Years so that everyone would be home for the holidays, including us since we had just moved to New Brunswick in the fall of 1987 from Ontario.
        7. It was a candlelight service......followed by a dancing reception.

        8. I wore my wedding dress all night long. I never understood why a bride would change out of her dress to put on a "going away" outfit when it was the only day she'd wear the dress EVER. So, I wore mine all night long..........
        9. There were speeches and father turned into Bill Cosby and had everyone falling out of their seats with laughter. First daughter, first wedding speech. He nailed it.
        10. I was a nervous wreck and decided not to make my own speech. I think if I was to be married today, I wouldn't hesitate to take my turn behind the microphone. Somewhere along the line I got over my fear of standing up in front of an audience.

        11. I'll never forget the feeling of waiting to walk down the aisle with my Dad. I think I had forgotten how to breathe. But, when we stood at the doorway and I looked down the aisle and saw all the people turned to look at us, every face spoke to me.......every face was recognizable and represented parts of my life.

        12. Interestingly, I seemed to hone in on 5 or 6 people as I made my way towards the front of the church to where my future husband, Best Man and Minister were standing. Everyone else seemed like a blur, though I felt their reassurance and presence.

        13. Don't trip, don't trip, don't trip.............

        14. I honestly didn't know if I would be able to focus myself beyond my nerves to repeat the vows.

        15. Then Jamie's grandmother, a little confused at this point in her life and a bit hard of hearing, leaned over to her son (my father in law) whom she called Buzzie.......and loudly asked......"Who's wedding is this Buzzie????"

        16. Loudly the reply........."It's DANA AND JAMIE'S wedding......"

        17. "Oh......good, OK.....She looks beautiful.........."

        18. Thank you Gram. I then relaxed. All was right in the world.

        19. When I think back today on my wedding day, I am struck by how many who attended have since passed away. I will make sure they are with me today in my thoughts.

        20. Reverend Johnson, my Minister who resided over my confirmation 12 years prior continued to smile warmly and began the ceremony by talking about the beauty of watching a bride and her father walk down the aisle. He made me feel special. He made me feel like a floating beautiful bride.

        21. Our friend Robin read a beautiful piece...........he had been in a car accident the day before and had lost a couple of teeth, the poor bugger........all swollen mouthed, he still spoke eloquently, as only Robin can.

        22. Behind the scenes, as the organist played, the wedding party entered the little office to sign the registry........youthful giggles and laughter over Gram's loud outburst........over nerves and excitement......hugs and kisses and sighs of relief.

        23. 20 years ago..........feels like a dream

        24. We met through a mutual friend whom I was dating. long story, but ends well. He's still one of our closest friends, and Godfather to our son.

        25. Our first date was to see Paul Young in concert. Though it didn't start out as a regular date, since we were supposedly just attending as friends. But, on the way home, when he began singing Sinatra's "More than you know........."

        26. I knew right away...........

        27. He knew right away.......

        28. I had always told my girlfriends that I would marry the first guy to arrange to have flowers delivered to me.

        29. They arrived the morning after the Paul Young concert. An enormous bouquet of spring flowers................delivered to ME.

        30. I made my friend Bonnie take a photo of me holding the bouquet. We laughed that my prediction was possibly going to come true.

        31. He still brings me flowers, sometimes just because.

        32. My husband loves to have fresh cut flowers in our home just as much as I do.

        33. Though he isn't into gardening, he fully appreciates my efforts.

        34. Our honeymoon included our whole wedding party and a few others.

        35. It was New Year's after all, and it was the only time we would see these friends for a while since we were moving back to New Brunswick on our own.

        36. The first year in our new province was difficult.

        37. Jamie was studying full time and I struggled to find work.

        38. I grabbed anything that came my way...........afterschool daycare worker, crap jewelry sales person, workplace analyst..........

        39. As a workplace analyst, I worked at a local club to write down every task of every staff person. That meant I got to hang out one night with the bouncers and heard unbelievable stories, mostly to do with sexual trysts occuring in every nook and cranny of that club.........and some right out in the open!! People are brazen arent they? Horny too.

        40. I also spent an evening sitting at a bar on a Friday night observing the Manager named Anne. It turned out to be the beginning of a very close friendship which thrives 20 years later.

        41. Then, we were young and married. Now, we are young and married with 2 children each, all of whom are either adolescents or not too far away from it.

        42. Since that first night when we were the only two sober people in the whole place, our growing families have shared many holidays, weekends away, Easters, Christmases, and summer beach trips together.

        43. Two families away from our biologicial extended families, grown together.

        44. It was a struggle for me to find my way, to feel like I belonged here

        45. Frederiction is an established little alcove, where most people have their own set of friends

        46. New people were somewhat invisible

        47. New people were looked upon with unease, especially Upper Canadians. Why would they move here? They won't stay long..........that's the attitude.

        48. It was an attitude I heard many times while trying to secure a good job. Why did you move here? How long are you staying? It was disturbing. It showed me a lack of confidence in themselves.

        49. There is still a bit of that, but I have seen great changes in the openness of the community.

        50. We met most of our friends through the University because we were all in the same boat. Poor, displaced, and interested in many of the same things.

        51. Eventually, our group of friends expanded.

        52. And it continues to grow into a eclectic group of talented people, including the children.

        53. Interestingly, every family we are close friends with are "from away."

        54. As Jamie continued to study, I jumped from one short term job to another until I landed at the Community College to teach night school.

        55. It evolved to teaching during the day too.

        56. All of a sudden, I am a teacher........a coach...........a facilitator..........of adults.

        57. My degree is in child assessment and counselling, and yet, I'm teaching and working in the world of adults.

        58. My career path has been one adjustment after another. This has never stopped.

        59. As much as I love certain aspects of the work I do.......especially the counselling, I have never really felt established or secure in any job I have found myself ensconced in.

        60. That's the way of the Maritimes.

        61. Though the political message is...............there are lots of jobs, and lots of is pure and utter bullshit.

        62. This topic is for another time.

        63. Because today, I am celebrating my 20 year anniversary.

        64. Our first dance was to Van Morrison's Irish Heartbeat.

        65. Oh, wont you stay, stay awhile with your only ones...........

        66. Van Morrison has provided the music to our marriage.

        67. There are other musicians who play a prominent role...........certain songs, certain memories, but it is Van who is key.

        68. I would get stuck listening to the same preferred music over and over again if it wasn't for my flower giving music man who provides me with new compilation CD's to listen to. Every song is chosen with tremendous he tries to broaden my interests, but also find songs which he knows will compliment my tastes.

        69. Our first house became a home on Thanksgiving Day, 1993 when we walked through the front door with our baby daughter Martha for the first time. The light in the place changed before our eyes.

        70. I'll never forget the adjustment from being two to being a family of three. One particular moment will forever be etched. Martha was 6 weeks old and hadnt yet slept for more than a two hour stretch at a time and I was nursing her. I was beyond exhaustion when Jamie came home one night from work. In his always calm manner, he poured me a glass of wine and told me to go to bed.........he would look after Martha.

        71. I fell asleep right away and didn't move for 6 solid hours. It was heaven.

        72. When I awoke, I was was dark by then. I found Jamie lying as still as ever on the couch with his baby girl lying on his chest fast asleep.

        73. Jamie looked relieved to see me......not that it had been difficult to keep her settled down, but he had had to use the washroom for a few hours and was afraid to move for fear of waking Martha and consequently me.

        74. How many people are that thoughtful????? I counted my blessings that I had found a life partner who would be that thoughtful...........and relieved to see me?

        75. We are a good team............

        76. Our individual strengths compliment our individual weaknesses.

        77. We have learned to cope with adversity.

        78. We have learned to rely on one another while living away from familial supports.

        79. We have always recognized and respected each other's differences

        80. Me an extrovert

        81. He an introvert

        82. We meet in the middle most of the time

        83. Our sense of humour is our glue.

        84. As are our foundational values

        85. One of the key values is friendship

        86. Another is organizing really good parties. Interestingly, I'm more in the background, while Jamie becomes the entertainer host when we throw parties. It's like we trade in our extroversion/introversion personalities.

        87. The home we live in now is the home we brought our newborn son to. Max completed our family. His personality is a combination of his parents, like his sister's is.

        88. I look at both of our children and see parts of me in them and parts of Jamie in them.

        89. Martha has Jamie's calm friendliness. She shares a love of music and the arts with him. And her patience. Her entrepreneurial streak and her creativity she gets from me. Jamie tells Martha that she is his hero...........and he really means it.

        90. Max acquired Jamie's sense of humour and ability to sing a variety of songs, changing the words on the fly. His over sensitivity unfortunately he inherited from me. But, lucky boy, his brain is wired to learn just like his momma! However, he still whups my ass in Scrabble.

        91. I feel we do a very good job teaching our children the importance of looking out for others and respecting people of all ages. The other night, I watched our 10 year old Max entertain a 3 year old little girl and enjoying it thoroughly.......making her laugh so joyfully that he ended up laughing along with her. It was wonderful to watch evolve.

        92. Our marriage has not been without its ups and downs. That's normal.

        93. Sometimes one needs more than the other. Sometimes one member of the relationship is going through major stress and strain.............we learn to work through, to be patient, to know that it will pass if you just keep talking.

        94. Today I look back on 20 years............too many things to put in 100 statements. Too many intimate memories shared only with my life partner.

        95. Today I look around at my the early morning when everyone is still fast asleep and I feel an overwhelming sense of love and belonging.

        96. It is a home we have nutured.

        97. It is a home we fill with ourselves.

        98. It is a marriage and a partnership I am blessed to be a part of.

        99. 20 years. Where has the time gone?

        100. To living our lives together, surrounded by a soundtrack of harmonies.


        kenju said...

        HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! And I don't have to wish you many more - because with this list, you have shown what a firm foundation your marriage has. It will last forever.

        I really enjoyed reading this!

        Gypsy said...

        Happy 20th Anniversary Dana and Jamie. I could relate to so many of your statements and it sounds like you have a good solid relationship with Jamie. He sounds a great deal like my husband in his thoughtful, considerate ways. I guess you and I are very lucky aren't we?

        PS Tulips are my favourite flower too.

        Dustin said...

        Wow, that was quite impressive, Dana :)

        I hope your holiday was filled with wonderful times with family and friends.

        Grace & Peace.

        Rainbow dreams said...

        Happy Anniversary Dana and Jamie -
        Wishing you both a beautiful day...

        I look back at our wedding photos and how many gaps there would be now... they are a snapshot of precious time...

        What a fantastic list... thank you for sharing, Katie,xx

        Awareness said...

        Judy....thank you. It was fun to write......I tried to just go with the stream of conciousness type of writing.....funny what emerged!

        Gypsy....I noticed the similarities from your posts too. :) yes, we are very lucky.

        dustin....thank you. Happy New Year.

        Katie.....thank you. I have found myself spending much of the day reflecting on my wedding day and thinking about the people who attended.....

        Just Jen said...

        This looks really difficult to do.
        You did great and Happy Anniversary!
        I especially love the grandmother part...Hubby's great grandma did that just this made me smile!

        paris parfait said...

        What a beautiful post! Happy anniversary to you and Jamie! xo

        LLD said...

        Love that, you did a really great job on something that would seem challengin, but you wrote right through it like nothing.
        Very heart warming, and it made me think of my own relationship, as it is in the beginning stages now. :)

        Happy 20th.