It was January 30, 1997, long before internet dating became popular. I sat there studying for an anatomy test, and decided to take a break to check out this “new internet thing”. My sister had said these chat rooms are cool. You can talk to people all over the place. Somehow I ended up in what was supposed to be a private chat room. I quickly got out but before I could “Socretes” sent a private message to “Icesmiles”. I didn’t want to be rude so I said hello. He seemed like a normal guy. We chatted for a bit, and to be honest I don’t know what happened. Back then you were limited on how many hours you could be online. So he asked for my number. Trying to be “smart” I said I’d call him instead. Obviously I was not that smart at my young age of 20. Caller ID…damn it….oh well…We talked for hours and hours. (which of course cost us a fortune, because it was long distance.) I couldn’t even tell you what we talked about….just literally everything. It scared the crap out of me, because somehow it felt like my drop in to this private chat room was meant to be. We chatted for another day and then somehow he convinced me to meet him in person. I decided to drive to Kokomo because I figured if he was psycho I’d notice he was following me for an hour and a half. I took reinforcements. My sister and my dad’s girlfriend. All I knew was he drove a black S10 with pink and white stripes on the side. We met up at the mall on a Sunday evening. I saw him pull up to the light as we were waiting to turn. My heart skipped a beat. I was so incredibly nervous. We parked and I watched him walk up to the door in his jeans, blue and white striped shirt and black leather jacket. He was tall and skinny, wore round metal framed glasses. I nervously walked past him to see if he’d notice me…then peaked my head out the door and said “are you luke?” we walked into the mall, which by now was closing. So we decided to head to toy store not far from there. Unfortunately it was also closed. Against my better judgement (I’m not thinking i had any good judgement back then at all), since it was also closed early on Sunday, I got in his truck and told my sister and dad’s girlfriend we’d meet them back there in an hour or so. And off I drove with this new guy, alone, in the country. He took me past his house, but his mom was studying and wouldn’t let him bring me back. We then went to the park where he played basketball. We sat in his truck and he kissed me. There’s something about a kiss from someone and just thinking….this could be the last “first” kiss I ever have with anyone. I remember the way it felt to kiss him. To touch his amazing abs, and somehow I was already falling for him. Not in lust, but in love, in complete and total safety that I felt in his arms.
We spent the next week talking and I desperately tried to avoid my feelings. I wasn’t ready for anything. I was in a weird place in my life, undecided with my major and just not sure what to do. But the long talks about everything from dogs, to kids, to everything under the son, I couldn’t help myself. The next week February 7, 1997 I went to his house. I spent around 12 hours there with him that day. It was an amazing day. I knew before I left that I had fallen in love with him. I wanted to tell him so bad, but I didn’t know how he felt. Turns out the next day he told me he loved me. I will never forget where I was at that moment. Sitting in my bedroom, laying on my bed staring at my dresser when he said those words. I stopped for a second wishing I could see his face to tell him, but since that wasn’t possible, I return the I love you too.
A week later he moved to Indianapolis to find a job and apartment and be closer to me. We’ve lived together ever since. We were engaged by July and planned an October wedding. Then fate took over and failed birth controlled produced a kink in our plan. Instead of getting married we began preparing for our first son. As luck would have it the laws on insurance changed and we were able to get married before he was born. So on February 7, 1998 exactly one year from the day I knew I was in love with this crazy man, we got married.
I wish I could say that we have had an unbelievable marriage full of love, laughter and happiness, but that hasn’t been the case. We have struggled many times, for many different reasons. We have both wanted to call it quits on several occasions. We have struggled through moves, financial hardships, untruthfulness, addictions, six children, job loses and new growth from one of us that caused the other to feel left behind. There are times we felt like strangers or room mates and it hurt terribly.
Today we stand in one of those very hard spots. The decision to fix things and move on together happily or go our separate ways. Over the last several weeks I have spent a lot of time in thought. I have tried hard to look at myself in the mirror and see what things I may be missing. It is NEVER one person’s fault that a marriage ends. No one can ever say that the other is to fully blame. I decided to go back to the basics. I started reading the love dare. I was super skeptical about this book and figured it really wouldn’t help. I decided after starting it that even if Luke decides to walk, I will have been able to grow myself and be a better person for all those around me. This book isn’t for someone who isn’t willing to give it 100%…its hard. It makes you think about yourself, how you react to others, how you show your love or push it away, it makes you look at whether or not you would even love yourself if you were in your partners shoes.
As of today I’m only on day 5 of 40. I am trying REALLY hard to work through all these issues and become a better friend, mother, and wife. I am trying to go back to the days when I knew I couldn’t possibly live without him, when no one had hurt anyone else, when looking in his eyes was the best place in the world. I desperately want that feeling back again.
I love this man so much it literally hurts. He completes me in a way I never knew anyone could. So for now, I will continue to read, put into practice the challenges, write in my journal and start counseling to better myself. In the end I hope he can see how much I truly adore him. How incredibly proud I am of him and to be his wife. For 7058 days you have been the love of my life, and I hope that I can one day say that we made it through this tough time and are stronger, happier and more in love than ever before.