In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Memory...a wedding in red.

 It's my anniversary this Saturday the 15th. 
16 years. 
And every year with him is better.

But it started out kind-of rocky. 
From what felt like "day one," John wanted to marry me. 
I'm not trying to brag.  In fact, it was a lot of pressure. 
It took me a little longer to make up my mind. 

I loved him, and I loved being with him,
but I didn't have the strength of conviction that John had,
as quickly as John had it. 
And John wanted the security of knowing that he was going to get what he wanted. 
 He seemed desperate for it. 
And I, feeling that need in him,
even more than I was feeling my own need for time and space,
gave in to the pressure when he asked me to marry him. 
We had only known each other for about 6 mos,
and I knew I wasn't ready,
but I didn't want to hurt him.
I was only 20.  He was only 19.

So, for almost a year, I planned a wedding I wasn't ready for,
feebly communicating my desire to postpone things,
and giving in whenever John put on the pressure. 
This wasn't a mean pressure.  It felt like a desperation pressure. 
Anne Murray's "You Needed Me" was "our song" for a while...and it felt that way. 
 We needed each other.  Truly.
However, John was a little more in touch with his need than I was.

Two weeks before the wedding, after all of the invitations were sent out,
I called it off. 
I couldn't do it anymore. 
 I NEEDED space to feel my own feelings and not worry about his. 
I was having dreams that he would be waiting in front of the church,
and I would not be there.  
So I finally managed to put my foot down and say NO.

And it was hard.  It was horrible.  Searing pain. Because I loved him.
  But I needed to be saying "yes" for my reasons, not his. 
I knew that if we got married under current conditions, we would be divorced soon.
  My resentment of his pressure was growing intense.

So we took several painful months off from each other. 
I went to therapy to learn how to set some boundaries for myself.  
 I was drowning, trying to please him instead of listening to my own gut. 
I took some hard steps.  I stood up for what I needed. 
And John did his own soul searching.
  He apologized. 
 He told me there would be no more pressure. 
He backed off. 
He listened.

Less than a year from the date of our first planned wedding, we got married.
I asked him this time. 
We didn't send out invitations. 
We didn't plan anything other than to ask our pastor to marry us. 
We called a few friends a few hours before the ceremony,
and invited them to come witness it. 

We got married under a Palo Verde tree in Tucson behind our church. 
I truly cannot believe how clueless I was. 
I wore a RED dress (my only nice dress). 
He wore a blue shirt (his only nice shirt.) 
We wore the same clothes the day before for my college graduation.

We said "I do" and headed to the nearest La Quinta Inn for our one night honeymoon.

The best decision of my life.
(The wedding, not La Quinta)

Could my hair be any bigger?

Flashback Friday Button


  1. This is a great story! We all have to do what it takes to make sure that what we're doing feels right.

    My Guy and I also had a breakup and a few months apart in between, even though I felt that he was THE one.

    It turns out, he is. We got back together and never looked back.

    Great to be here from Momalom.

  2. you are so right about needing to say yes for YOUR reasons. i feel very strongly about that sort of thing and it can be so hard to be honest about that. congrats!!!!

  3. What a beautiful story you two have. Happy Anniversary! Hope you're able to do something to celebrate and connect even though you're in the midst of another hard time.

  4. How unconventional, but so meaningful... Happy Anniversary! I hope you have a lovely time celebrating your love for one another!

    PS: I think your hair COULD be bigger, but not much! lol...

  5. Happy Anniversary! Looks like you made the right decision. Love the hair. I had some pretty big hair back then too. :)

  6. Red dresses, blue shirts, and big hair ... these a happy marriage make, along with the taking the time you need to make sure the commitment is what you both want, need, and deserve. Happy Anniversary!! Hope you get a chance to celebrate at somewhere decidedly un-La-Quinta-y. =>

  7. Such a sweet story. I love the pics. I love the essence of why you eventually said yes. Happy Celebration!

    BTW, I just moved to AZ about a year ago. I appreciate the landscape in your header.

  8. I loved this story the first time you told it, but it's nice to see pictures too. Red dress, by the way, is lucky for a wedding. The hair... nice! ;)

    Congratulations! Happy anniversary!

  9. Happy Anniversary in advanced!!

    Marrying for the right reasons gives the marriage a good beginning, I think. Taking a break and really getting to know that person (I am talking about strengths and weaknesses, personality flaws and hero traits) can make the difference between forever and a moment marriage.

    I am convinced the actual ceremony is for other people. I think it's awesome that you two chose to make it about the start of your marriage relationship.

  10. Just catching up on all of our recent posts and glad I saved this one for last..ending on a modern fairy tale kind of note. The red dress, the all adds up to a great happily ever after. ;) Thinking of you and hope you are doing well.

  11. What a beautiful flashback! I'm so happy to have found you at Christoper and Tia! Wonderful, amazing story that your family will cherish forever. And what a great lesson for you to share with your children, about listening to their guts and trusting their instincts. So happy for you!

  12. You had told us that story before, but it is so sweet. You did what felt right for you, and now look - you are celebrating your sweet 16! Congratulations! And I have to ask, will there be a romantic night at the La Quinta Inn?

  13. Happy Anniversary!!! Keeping the love alive in a marriage is hard work, I'm always so happy when I see couple that make it work for so long, through thick and thin, rather than throwing in the towel. Very beautiful.


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