18 years ago today my 18 year old self walked… late… into the sanctuary of a large church in Pompton Plains, New Jersey and slipped into a back row. After the service I went to meet the family that had invited me. We’d been speaking for a few minutes when a young man in a three piece suit walked up, introduced himself to me as their son, and invited them, and me by default, to his home for lunch. He’d thrown a whole chicken in the oven before church. We all went back to his house, and I found myself peeling potatoes in his kitchen while he made gravy. We found ourselves abandoned by his parents and siblings as we discussed our motorcycle licenses, broken bikes, and life in general.
Hours later, having spent the entire day with his family, attended the evening service, and headed home. Once there, I called my mom and told her I’d met the kind of guy I was going to marry. But not this one, because he was six and a half years my senior.
Two days later the “old” (24!) man called and asked me out for the following weekend. We talked for hours. Four months later, he asked me to marry him. Three months after that, we were married. A month later, we learned Liberty was on her way.
And life hasn’t slowed down since. We’ve moved eight times, three times of those were cross-country moves. He’s had five long term jobs and several others just to fill in gaps.
18 years. I’ve known him as many days as I haven’t in my life.