Monday, June 25, 2007

Sheila & Harry

My mom & dad

(this Easter in Mexico)

O.K. – Harry & I met July 10, 1976 – the weekend after the Bicentennial 4th of July! We dated until May 1977 and got engaged and were married on May 27, 1978. Now, that sounds pretty normal BUT I was only 16 when we met and he was 19 almost 20 and I turned 18 on May 6th, graduated high school on May 11th and got married on May 27th – 1978!!!! And we are STILL married – 29 years later! We are still in love. We have had many, many (who is counting) ups and downs in our relationship and marriage (I think it is called LIFE) but we still enjoy each others company and we love each other. We are entering a new phase of our marriage and sometimes adjustment is hard but we always get through it. Harry was a blind date. I was babysitting for his older sister’s children for several years and his sister asked if I wanted to go out on a date with her brother. I told her yes, but he had to call me first. He did and I did and the rest is history! I have always admired Harry’s generous nature (very, very generous – always – with me, the kids, others and other kids (he is a sucker for kids)) and his loyalty. We fight about family issues – we fought about how to raise our kids (we each have different ideas of course and he has typically been the knight in shining armor dad and made me go out front and be the bitch) and about how to handle his family at times and about how we spend money. We are different in our thoughts on money and how to spend it. We are MUCH better now because we have met somewhere in the middle BUT he still spends more money than I do and can be obsessive about buying certain things – like clothes, guns, guitars, fishing gear, etc. etc. He doesn’t own ONE of anything!!!!! I counted 6 pairs of shorts folded on the ironing board – and he has more in the closet and in the laundry and at least than many at the camp YET he bought a couple of pairs this past weekend. NOW keep in mind he only wears shorts (for the most part) on the weekends – I just don’t get it and NEVER will – why he needs to buy so many!!! Oh well – anyway – that is just how he is. On the flip side of that – he has NEVER said one word about anything I buy or any money I spend. I am the accountant and have always paid the bills and handled our finances – SO it is a good thing I am not like him or we would be broke!!! As far as our relationship changing/growing over the 31 years we have been together (wow did I just say 31 years???? I must be old!!) it has changed up and down so many times I can’t count. We started off our marriage dealing with his mother being ill and in and out of the hospital and it escalated from there. By the time I was 24 - his mother had already been very, very ill and had kidney failure and then passed away 6 weeks before Justin (my second child) was born. His dad had had cancer – twice and a lung abcess. We had both of them in the hospital at the same time – more than once! Harry’s dad even lived with us for a little while to get stronger from his lung abcess for them to do surgery on his lung for cancer. At the time I had a 2 year old and Harry had pneumonia. Of course this was during a time that Harry was building a career and so was I. Lots of responsibility on two young people. That causes strain in your marriage. Then later in our marriage we dealt with some really hard times with our children. During one of the really, really bad times with our youngest child, Harry’s dad was diagnosed with cancer again and this time it was terminal. Harry would go over and care for his dad (he lived 80 miles away) on the weekends and I would stay home and deal with our high school senior and then his dad passed away. The year 2002 will have to go down to being one of the most tragic in our marriage and lives. It took us several years to climb out of it. Life is good today. Who knows what the future will bring?? We both LOVE, LOVE to travel and we get away every chance we get. We also bought a “weekend” escape in 2003 – in Pass Christian, Ms. And in 2005 (after just totally remodeling it) Hurricane Katrina totally demolished it. We have replaced it with another “weekend” escape in south Louisiana, on a brackish water bayou (we love to salt water fish) and we are really enjoying it. Harry has traveled a large part of our marriage for work and he is currently traveling really heavily. This always causes “issues” because sometimes the only time we have to see each other is filled with all the household “crap”. Not much down time and not too much alone time. This always causes a “disconnect” and issues. BUT we can reconnect at our camp on the weekends. It is why we go through all the costs and efforts of maintaining two households – it affords us an escape from everyday stuff. Anyway, hopefully we will be together for always – till death do us part – and hopefully that is a long time to come. But I have learned to never say for SURE what is going to happen. We can only hope and continue to work week by week to get there! The saying: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is sooooo true! Everytime something threatens to kill our marriage and everytime something happens that knocks down, we rise up a little stronger and surer!!!

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