Fours years ago, I married my best friend and my soul mate. We have been together for almost 14 years – WOW! A beautiful day surrounded by family and close friends. It started off a little shaky with Pastor getting there in just enough time due traffic. Traffic caused my mom to be late so she was stressing herself out. Belinda was the picture of calm as the Maid of Honor. I have to admit, I was a tad nervous. Who would have thought that I would be this nervous on my wedding day???
During the walk down the aisle, the reality hit. This was really happening – I was getting married. I almost passed out and the pictures show the slight look of panic. It passed as I saw Rob, just as nervous standing with Pastor and Belinda smiling at me. It was an amazing day – the weather was beautiful, our families were there and we got to celebrate with those that meant the most to us.
Rob and I had what some many call a “unique” love story. Hang in there if you have already heard this.
We dated in high school, well, the summer before HS. We were at different schools – he was from Neptune and I was from Ocean Township. A strange mix but we were happy until school started. I made new friends, joined clubs and found what I thought was a “new interest”. So, I ended our summer romance.
Fast forward 30 years, to July 2001. Rob is driving in the Monmouth/Ocean County area and sees a roadside tribute that says “HOPE”. He wanted to make sure that it wasn’t me. Really??? Well, he spent about a year hunting me down. I got a note in the mail with an email address. Being a little skeptical, I sent an email and as they say – the rest is history.
After 4 months of emailing, in October 2001, Rob decided to drive to Atlantic County to visit me at a craft show. I wasn’t looking for a relationship and was content for it to be “Belinda and I” till she went to college. He was divorced and wasn’t really looking either. I mean, Belinda and I were happy with our lives.
Rob spent the day with me selling hand made American Girl doll clothes so the day was busy with kids and business but he stuck it out. He helped me pack up and we went back to my house for dinner. We spent hours just talking and reconnecting. He even showed me an old picture of me that he kept all of these years. That was the first of many trips Rob made to EHT over the next 5 years. He traveled to EHT to spend his days off with us. He traveled to cheering competitions, sat through practices, and went to craft shows. I am not sure when but we realized that God had brought us together for a reason…. to be a family.
Our second Christmas, Rob proposed! Yes, we were engaged for almost 9 years before we got married. He was concerned about Belinda. He didn’t want to change her life as she was in high school – a competitive cheerleader, active in church and EHT was the only home she had ever known. She is the daughter that he never had.
Nine years later, Belinda left for college, I sold our home in EHT and moved to Brick. Not an easy move for Miss Independence. I had been in my own home for about 20 plus years and had built a life there.
The last four years have been filled with tears of happiness and sadness. We have learned the meaning of “in sickness and in health”. We have learned the art of compromise – not easy for this almost reformed independent woman. We have had our rough spots but we have worked through them. Rob’s unconditional love has helped me to grow as a wife, a mom and a person. We are definitely opposites but we do compliment each other – opposites attract, right?
There is nothing that I would different and if Rob asked me again, I would marry him in a heartbeat.
Thank you for being there for me through the good times and the bad. Thank you for loving me when I didn’t love myself. Thank you for being my solid rock when I am ready to roll down the cliff. Thank you for being my cheerleader when I think I can’t go on any longer. I love you more than words can say and I can’t imagine what my life would be like with out.