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Not Your Average Fairy Tale

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

I've been thinking a lot about love and relationships lately. I talk to a lot of strangers in my job. I get to see the truth of their romantic love in readings. I get to learn a couple's back story while composing wedding ceremonies. My experience is that I had to believe that I was lovable in order to be in a successful relationship. I did not love myself nor did I know if I was lovable when my husband and I got back together 13 years ago. I knew Joe loved me. I didn't know why, but I knew he did. I was very newly sober when I sought him out. He hadn't spoken to me in 5 years - though not for lack of trying on my part. I had sent letters, left messages, done drive bys his work - all to no avail. When I made my second attempt at sobriety in late 2006, I created a MySpace page. I looked him up the day I created my profile. I sent him a long message with way too much detail about how crazy I had made my life since we last spoke. I checked on his profile to see if he had read my TMI messages for several months. Then it happened. January 1, 2007 in the early morning hours that green dot next to his picture popped up. I was practically jumping up and down at 2am like a teenager (At 25, I certainly was no teenager). I started messaging him. I could see he was reading my messages but he was offering no response. I realized I had to give up. He had been clear that he didn't want to see me any more and that was my fault. Time for acceptance. I told him I got it. That I understood he needed me to respect his distance. That I loved him and wanted only his friendship. That if he ever changed his mind, he could call and we could catch up. If not I understand. Just as I was about to sign off for the night he said "hi". We chatted briefly. He offered short responses. I didn't know what to expect. But the next day, my phone rang. Joe wanted to get together and catch up. We planned to grab a coffee the following evening after I got out of a 12 step meeting. He met me in a parking lot. I'll never forget how for the first time in my life, I became weak in the knees at the sight of someone. Had I forgotten how handsome he was? I'll never forget the sweatshirt he was wearing (it's still folded up in our closet). He played it so cool. Very aloof. But I had zero chill. I was a flirty and giggly schoolgirl. We grabbed a coffee at a restaurant nearby. We talked until the restaurant was closing. We then sat in his car in a Dunkin Donuts parking lot listening to music and talking for hours. I felt safe for the first time in years. I trusted this man and being in his presence felt like home. I was shocked that even after so much time had passed that I still felt shelter in his presence. The next month was a blur. I know we saw each other frequently and it was better than old times. I put us in some precarious situations in those days of "just friends". I suggested we watch movies in his bedroom in his parents home, knowing he had only a single bed and no chairs in his room. I was dying to be physically close to him. We had several of these movie days. One of which I fell asleep on his bed next to him. I sure was playing with fire. He was very cautiously allowing me to. I had no license at the time (wreckage of my past) so he took me to visit my best friend who lived about an hour away. I believe it was a Sunday morning that we arrived at her house - early. She was making her first cup of coffee. She and I had plans to hang out that day - but not that early and not with Joe along. She was always a direct person, but her annoyance made her blunt. Peering over her first sip of coffee she says to Joe - so you still in love with Corrine or what? I was mortified. I wanted to say "you don't have to answer that". But I couldn't force the words out. I really needed to know if he could still love me after all this time, all I had put him through, and all the distance he had put between us. He looked like someone had slapped him in the face. He stared at her and she stared back. His face relaxed and he said very matter-of-factly - "of course I do. I'll always love her". The next few hours were very fuzzy. My mind was racing. I was overjoyed. And shocked. And scared to death. By the end of the evening, Joe and I slowly inched closer together. We closed in on the physical space that had been carefully kept between us over the last month. We were sitting in Angie's room and I was leaning my back against his chest. Wow. What a feeling. It's still one of my favorite sensations today. I believe we kissed that night. Just an innocent peck on the lips. The next afternoon had us in his room again. This time there was no space between us. In the middle of the long awaited kissing and snuggling the question was asked - are we a couple? I don't know who asked but we both agreed we were. On January 29, 2007 we decided to follow our hearts. I could never have guessed all the things we would endure and thrive through in the moment. My relapse and our recovery from it. When I left my full time job and put us in debt. His mother's passing. A month and a half later on our 5 year anniversary, our engagement. Less than 7 months after that, my father's passing. A year later our wedding. Infertility. Joe leaving his job of almost 17 years and us moving after 8 years in the same apartment. Having to move 1 year later with a 2 month old while still recovering from a traumatic labor and delivery. Miscarriages. Joe getting laid off and getting a new job. An unexpected pregnancy. Home birth. Starting my own business. So many ups and downs. All Fairy tales are beautiful, but ours is my favorite. I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing! Thank you Joe for all the memories. Thank you for loving me in all my forms while I learn to love myself. Thank you for building the life of our dreams with me. Thank you for being a better husband and father than I could ever have dreamed up for myself. I promise to always remember that this is a once in a lifetime love. The best is yet to come for this Power Couple. Happy 13th Anniversary! 💫💜💫

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