The main news story for the rest of the world in the Summer of 1994 was O.J. and Nicole. For me, it was holy matrimony. The morning of June 25, 1994 was rainy in Houston and when the sun shone it brought a humidity comparable only to the jungles of Viet Nam. The ceremony was personal and the nuptials sweet. Our cake hit the floor even before we made it to the reception and my Mom and her twin, Aunt Jinny, hit the dance floor with a line dance forever seared in my memory.
The vows we spoke that day were a promise entered into with huge intention and even greater naivety. The dreams of for better were an ocean engulfing any scant row boat of a for worse. I suppose a mind fixated on possible trial and tragedy would never have the chutzpah to commit. Life as it has unfolded has brought phenomenal betters and unfathomable worsts to our doorstep. Land Sharks of loss and beautiful FTD deliveries of joy. That, as I have come to realize is the deal you strike when you join lives.
I searched for my person and found him. He passed the trailer test (my friend’s standard for true love: would you marry this person if you were to live in a single wide with him the rest of your life? Don’t judge.) This was before the nice ones they have today which are more posh than my home. John completed me and still does. He is brave, methodical and ridiculously kind. He is funnier than I am and has layers of empathy and depth which I respect and adore.
We are the perfect match for such an unlikely match. My seminary room mate Gina from Arkansas was sweet and beautiful. I was the loud one. When word got out around campus that John and I were dating, people would correct him, “Oh, you mean you’re dating Gina?”
“No, I’m dating Jinny. The crazy blonde. You may have smelled her perfume before you saw her in the library. Yep, she’s the one.”
He was and still is the one because we try to grace each other and we’re in this thing for the long haul. I call him Father Teresa because he is so committed to helping the poor. He’s a great Father, husband and friend. This saint also makes me head-cuss more than anyone else on this big blue marble. Likewise, he still wonders what planet I came from at times. His handsome dark brown hair is now 50 shades of grey and I these days I sag in some truly unfortunate locations.
John is now and forever my better or worse. How did I ever get so blessed?