Seventeen years ago yesterday . . .

. . . I married my best friend.

I’m not talking about The Bull here.  Yup, I was married to JK before I married The Bull.

(To be fair, I should warn you right now that JK left me a widow so you don’t roll your eyes and write this off as another “young infatuation love ends in divorce” story.  And no girl expects that she will be widowed at the age of 20 and newly married.)

Seventeen years.  It still amazes me that I’ve lived so long.

For this and several other reasons, yesterday was a really difficult day.

There was losing our baby back in October.  By now I would have been big and pregnant and miserable and wishing this baby would be born soon. . . except I’m not big and pregnant, just miserable.   I am missing my baby and so very sad that he won’t be joining us next month.  Honestly, this has continued to be hard (although some days not nearly so bad) for months.  It just keeps going and going . . .

Then I learned that a good friend’s baby was born Thursday, a few months too soon.  He’s doing okay, but the prognosis for a tiny, 1 pound 1 ounce child is very difficult at best.  My friend had miscarried in 2008 and found out she was pregnant again just one month after I found out I was pregnant (2009.)  She was quite supportive after I lost my son.  My heart just aches for her now.  I so desperately wanted her to be able to carry her son to term and spend only a few days in the hospital.  Now they are looking at a month and a half (or longer!) of the NICU with all its twists and turnings.

And it didn’t help when The Bull came home, bringing not one but two pieces of very bad news from the mail.  Neither of them could be dealt with after business hours on a Friday night.  I didn’t want or need these complications!

But to return to JK.  I am not sure what to say.  This anniversary hasn’t been this painful in over a decade.  Losing my son seems to have ripped the scabs off of every painful loss for me.

Partly, I’m not sure what I should do.  Should I grieve? This was a loss of someone I loved greatly. Death is hard and, while he was not my first friend to have died, he was definitely my closest.  I never imagined that our time together would have been so short.

Should I just be thankful for the days we had?  JK and I shared some special times and there are some wonderful, sweet memories back there (which now I cannot reminisce with anybody, as he was the only other person who shared them.)

Should I “forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead”  (Philippians 3:13),  as I was advised once a number of years ago?  Yes, I’d like to forget the bad days, my selfishness, the stupid things I did, the lousy attitude I held towards him, the terrible things I did and said to him.  But he was a  part of my life for two years and five months.  I don’t want to forget.

How do I grieve for one husband, while being married to another?  (Thankfully, The Bull is very secure in himself and not threatened by this sort of thing at all.)

My first husband was a very special person to me.  I still keep in touch with his family.  He was the one who shared with me the fact of God’s love, which totally changed the course of my life.  I would not have moved up here had I not met him because he was from Alaska and planned to return as soon as he finished college.  The Bull and I named our firstborn after him.

Maybe I should tell you a little about him.

I met him at college, the week before school started. I was fascinated that his parents were also divorced, as were mine.  (I didn’t know many divorced people at that time.)  He had a great sense of humor and we had similar likes in music and movies.

But I had no intention of ever dating him.  He was really weird.  I remember one day walking with my roommate and talking about him, “Oh he’s a nice enough guy but I wouldn’t want to date him.”  And guess who we ran into, literally five seconds later?


He hadn’t heard me talking (I found out months later), but I was still very embarrassed.

Even more embarrassed when we started dating a month or so later.

We talked lots and lots, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.  (Thankfully, I had afternoon classes.)  Animation, school, music, parents, living through our parents’ divorces, healing, books.  At some point, the topic turned to God.

Our first date was to see the movie Fantasia in the theater.  This was when it was re-released in 1990, and it had already played the first run theaters.  We had to ride the bus almost 20 miles to find a theater that was still playing the show!  Good times.

Eventually our friendship became love and we married.  By this time I’d decided that the college that we were attending was for the birds and had transferred to another.  Also by this time he’d bought a vehicle, a cute little yellow truck.  So he picked me up from school one day and we went and got married.  Yup, we eloped!  We just couldn’t decide whose parents to tell first that we wanted to marry.

I have some pictures of him.  This is how I remember him a lot.

He, uh, didn’t like his picture being taken.  😀  So I have many shots of his hand, or like this. . . .

I could understand that, I wasn’t crazy about having my picture taken either.

(Oh, those glasses! I LOVED those glasses, until big glasses were no longer popular.)

A year or so before we married, he started having some physical difficulties.  I knew that he’d been born with a somewhat rare birth defect and had had several surgeries that helped him live a little longer, although nothing could fix the damage permanently.  I knew that he would not live a long life but I never would have guessed that he would have died shortly after we married.

The best of times, the worst of times indeed!

Anyway I know that this is a odd, rambly post and I ought to finish it quickly before I embarrass myself even farther!  Just wanted to drop a few memories.  Thanks for reading.  This has been helpful for me to sort things out.


7 Responses to “Seventeen years ago yesterday . . .”

  1. Mum-me Says:

    Thanks for sharing about your first husband. It was interesting to read. I’m so sorry to hear of all the loss in your life – divorces parents, a widowed bride, and the loss of a baby. Your faith inspires me. I don’t know if I could be as strong as you if any tragedy struck my life.

  2. What Came Next « Purple Moose Tracks Says:

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  4. Tiaras & Tantrums Says:

    it’s sad that you don’t have wonderful photos of him to go along with your memories! Cherish every moment you had girlie!!

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