Monday was the anniversary of the day that my life changed. Seven years ago to the day, I left the horrible relationship that I was in, and started my life over. I remember it vividly. My sister and dad showed up to my house that Saturday morning, and we had everything packed and moved out within about three hours. This was no easy task with a one year old under foot, but we did it nonetheless. It wasn't pretty, but it was done. We threw clothes, blankets, shoes, and anything else that would fit into a sheet we had spread on the floor. We folded up the corners, tied them, and moved on to the next one. We used suitcases to pack up dishes, pictures, knick-knacks, and anything else we could cram into them. It was a very emotional day. I wasn't just leaving someone that I had spent the last four years loving, the father of my son. I was leaving his children, as well. I was leaving my best friend who lived across the road. We loaded up my dad's work truck, my sister's car, my car and we headed off to my parents, where Bro Man and I would spend the next year.
My sisters, not wanting me to sit home feeling sorry for myself, invited me to a dinner they were having about twenty miles away. So completely swollen eyed from crying, I headed off to Twin #2's and Leigh's. Mom and Dad kept Bro Man for me. Oh, how heartbroken I was. I felt like the most horrible failure imaginable. Why couldn't I make that relationship work? How could I love someone so totally and completely and hate them so much at the same time? How do you still love someone when they obviously hate you so much?
After an afternoon full of prayers, I headed to a dreaded dinner. It wasn't that I didn't want to be around my sisters (and I am eternally grateful to them for this), I just did not want to be around anyone. I wanted to lay in my bed and cry and wallow in self-pity--exactly the things that my sisters did not want me doing. I prayed that God would harden my heart towards BD.
That night with my sisters is unforgettable. It was Twin #2 and her husband, Leigh and Twin 2's cousin-in-law. Now, CIL was cute, but they really were trying to fix him up with Leigh. And I so totally was not interested in meeting a man.
In October of that year, I began dating the brother of my best friend. Things got way too serious way too fast, and in three weeks, he was talking about marriage. He was really good to me. Really, really good to me. We continued to date for a couple of months. My whole family loved this guy and if my parents could choose someone for me to this day, I think it would be him. He loved my family just as much and wanted nothing more than to be around them. For the first time in his life since his divorce, he was a good dad. He called his girls every single night to talk to them. He paid his child support religiously. But I could not get over BD. And he understood that and still wanted to marry me. I just was not ready.
In November, Twin 2 called to tell me that CIL wanted to go out with me. Well, because of best friend's brother, I told her no. But my curiosity was peaked. I went to watch him and my BIL play in an old-timers football game for their high school. I broke it off with Best Friend's Brother just a few short weeks later. It was not until New Year's Eve that I went out with CIL. And I never looked back. Early September of the next year, I told him that I didn't know if I would ever be ready to be married. He told me that the trip that he had planned for my birthday was to propose. I was shocked. I didn't know what to say or what to do. It was about thirty seconds later that realized I could not imagine my life without him. I could not wait for the day that I could marry him. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this magnificent creature. For Christmas that year, I got my ring. And this weekend, after the addition of two more children, we celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I still cannot imagine my life without this man. I love him beyond belief. He is my strength, my sanity, my everything. Without him, I would be nothing.
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