Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hopelessly Devoted to You

Since I am far from home right now, and desperately missing that man of mine (really, if I could see him right now, I wouldn't even complain about his giant shoes in the floor, his strange sleep sound - half snore/half scream, or his middle of the night eating in bed), I thought I’d carry on the love story started here.  
Jay at my house on a weekend visit

 Jay and I spent a wonderful, sick-in-love summer together before we both headed back to the realities of life as seniors in high school… two hours away from each other.  Since our romance took place in the pre-cell phone age (we’re so old), we worked ourselves to death, raking in a whopping five bucks an hour at our after-school jobs, just to pay our long distance phone bill.  And don’t think we didn’t treasure every single 10 cent minute!  We talked on the phone about 30 minutes a night, but we just couldn’t get enough of each other… so we wrote letters.  Hundreds of letters.  Several times a week, I’d come home and see that familiar handwriting on an envelope in the mailbox, and suddenly, nothing was more important than reading that letter… over and over and over.

(Just a side note to make you melt – Jay saved every single letter I ever wrote to him, including a few we exchanged when we were just friends.  He has an “angel box” that contains every word of our budding romance).

I don't know what's better - the shirts or the blonde hair!

I spent as many weekends as I could with Jay and his family in Louisville.  I can still remember the feeling of crossing the street from my high school (I only lived seven houses down from the school) and spotting that red chevy blazer parked in front of my house, and that tall, handsome boy leaning against it, waiting for me.  I knew, even then, how lucky I was. 
Christmas 1996

Jay proposed to me at a Homecoming dance – we were just babies, but somehow we knew this was it for us.  We planned to get married nearly a year after graduation, but as we continued the joys and heartaches of a long distance relationship, the wedding got moved up… and up… and up (finally settling on October 18th – 4 months after graduating high school)! And I moved to Louisville as the very first opportunity – I graduated high school Friday night and moved Saturday morning.  I couldn’t stand to be away from him.  And I still can’t!

Before my Homecoming Dance.  Jay looks pretty relaxed!

I have a million memories from that year, and it all seems so fresh.  

I remember every slow dance
a midnight date in the park
visiting Jay’s extended family in Tennessee and cruising around town in his Aunt Mary’s Cadillac
the time Jay told me he couldn’t come for the weekend, but then surprised me
the time Jay told me he couldn’t come for the weekend and I really really thought he was going to surprise me, but he didn’t  L
splashing in the puddles of a cold November rain
Proms and dances
hearing Jay preach for the first time
Jay’s birthday party on the pontoon boat at camp
Christmas morning when Jay showed up at my house at 6:00 a.m.
Sitting at Taco Bell in the car, crying because being apart was so hard
Falling asleep on the phone together (a very expensive nap!)

Jay's Senior Prom

I am so blessed to have felt real love at such a young age, to find the man who was created for me before I even knew how to search for him.  Our story is not without its share of bumps and bruises, of trials and heartbreaks, but nothing can ever tarnish the memory of those early days.  They were perfect.

143, my love.  Always.

I love you so much that I am putting this terrible picture of
me on my blog... just because you were so handsome.

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