Ed and I met online in spring of 2005. Yes, on a personals site. (I can hear you all chuckling now.. it's ok; it still makes me laugh too. ;-) ) Neither of us were into the bar scene, and both were in college at the time. He was spending his week in the dorms at a college about a two hours away from where I lived and went to school, and then driving home on the weekends, which was just thirty minutes from where I lived. The first night I met him in person, it was on a whim. My friend Sam and I were headed out for a night on the town, and he just happened to be going to drill that same night at a nearby town. So, on the spur of the moment, we swung into his unit's parking lot and I can still remember it so well. I was so insanely nervous to meet him. We'd had a good connection on the phone, but I wasn't entirely sure how it would pan out in person. As he came towards the car with his cap pulled down tight and his BDUs swooshing, I couldn't stop looking at him. Under the streetlights, his eyes were a beautiful green. He looked me straight in the eyes, smiled in a way that just melted me, and I knew then, I believe, that my life had forever changed, even if I didn't consciously realize it at the time.
I remember the moment I realized this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with... after a few months of dating, we were headed to visit his grandparents, and we pulled behind a car with the license plates "RS JS", with an older couple inside.. I just assumed it was both their initials.. and before I realized I had even said it, I heard myself say, "That's so silly- couldn't they come up with something a little more creative? I don't want to do that when we're old and married- I still want to be a little fun with it." And right there, I stopped. Without even realizing it, I had begun envisioning a life with him that went far beyond the few dates we'd been on.
We now have two beautiful children, more memories then I could ever fit onto a single blog post, and a life together that, although at times stressful, isn't something I'd give up on.
Something I have always loved about Ed is his ability to bring me outside of myself. Even if he doesn't believe it, he's one of the few people I've met that could ever make me stop in my stubborn-ass tracks and make me actually realize I'm being stubborn. He's also given me a stability that I never really knew existed. We aren't drama, we aren't crazy out there insanity. We're quarky, and yeah, we fight.. but a lot of what we do together.. works. I don't think I could have found someone who gets me as well as he does. Most of the time, we found ourselves saying the exact same things at the exact same time, or needing nothing more then a glance between us to know what the others thinking. That's a dance you perfect over time, and it makes me happier then I ever thought possible to have that with another person.
It didn't take me long to realize that Ed's a different kind of guy. He's not typical in any respect of the word. He communicates a whole lot better then any man I've ever met, and even if our communication is skewed sometimes, at least he tries. Before Iraq, he was super in touch with his emotions. He had no issue saying, "I feel this way..." and there wasn't room for wondering or questions. It was one of the things I loved most about him. He doesn't do football or sports. He loves guns and things that explode. His brain works in this way that never fails to amaze me (engineer anyone?)... And as hard as these last few years have been, I haven't fallen out of love with him. Not once.
When I met Ed, I knew I had found someone extraordinary. I knew I had found someone special. I attribute that to a big reason why things are getting better between us. Because unlike so many people I know who promise to change and never do, Ed's always been exceptionally good at keeping his promises. And even if it took something really bad happening (I'll go into detail about it eventually.. I'm not quite ready to yet since we're still working out the kinks, and I find hindsight's always a lot more clear the farther you get away from something..) at least it's happening. At least he's working hard to change what needs to, and become the man our family needs him to be. Don't get me wrong, he has his faults- just as I have mine- and things aren't always peachy and great. But, when I count my blessing, I definitely count him twice. ;-)
No, Ed's not the man I fell in love with 4 years ago. I'm not the woman he married 2 years ago. We've lived, experienced, and become different people over the course of this war, and we're working hard to find each other again. It's not about changing- because you're always going to change. It's a cycle that you just have to accept, and realize that even if it's hard now, it will get better in time. But BOTH people have to be willing to make it better, and BOTH people have to realize that the bad comes with the good, and if you just hold on a little bit longer... it gets better. It does get better.
Love is just lust in disguise, and lust fades, so you damn well better be with someone who can stand you.
-- The Story of Us