As I was digging through the filing cabinet recently I stumbled across a notebook. It turned out to be a notebook that Joey had kept as a journal for a few months around the time we got engaged in 1996. I am not sure I even knew it existed. If I did know, I don’t remember it. Most of it is written kind of in letter form to me.
As I sat on our bed reading it my heart was racing, it was such a long time ago and so many of those intense feelings came up like it was yesterday! The beginning of relationships are always intense in their emotions, and as time moves forward they shift to a more mundane version of themselves. I am not saying this in a bad way, but the intensity leaves, as you grow your life together, and you become secure in your relationship and steadfast in your love and devotion to one another.
For whatever reason, Joey and I knew then, what we still know today…we belong together. So often we will finish each others sentences, or each remember one piece of something, and we will say, “There is the other half of my brain!”. Joey is the other half of me, period. He loves me even when I don’t love myself so much, and loves me despite my crankiness sometimes. Even in 1996, he alludes to this in the journal by saying “I’m thinking of surprising you tonight when you get out of work. You’ll probably say what did you come out for, but inside you’ll be happy to see me.”
Reading through the few months Joey had logged, reminded me of why we save things, why we feel the need to hold on. His words brought him to life in my mind, I could hear his voice and see his mannerisms, and feel his emotions. It was amazing. Recently, my mom was clearing things out of their house and found box of letters my dad had kept, she threw them out. I really did not think too much of it at the time, other than I felt sad for him that she was throwing out letters of his parents that might mean something to him. Now though, I am wondering if they will have lost a piece of themselves by not having some of that to look back on. I am not talking about the greeting card, standard birthday/holiday/anniversary/ card type stuff, but the personal notes and touches sent to each other.
I am so grateful for this man, my husband, friend, lover, father of my children and so much more. Before we were married I had an emergency appendectomy after being very ill for a few days. It was excruciating for me and I also remember Joey pacing around the hospital like a caged rabid animal. Here is what he had to say in the journal about that day:
“I can’t recall a time in my life that I have been more scared!! What amazes me is that Heidi must have been 5 times as scared. I love her so much, I don’t know if I could continue on without her in this life……….My world stopped today. I felt her pain through me. Now I think I know what causes my motivation for life, that is love; without it, nothing matters. If I had the power, I would have switched places with her.”
This past weekend was the 12th anniversary of our wedding. We got married on March 8, 1998, but then had our wedding in June. Not once have I had any regrets about us. We knew it then and we know it now. As the words to our wedding song say:
“Because I absolutely, positively know without a doubt
You’re becoming someone I just could not live without
I was so afraid I’d spend my whole life not knowing how this feels
Oh no, I don’t think I will.”