What is so special about this August?
This August is an amazing month.
August is my anniversary month.
And this August is not just any anniversary month, but my 25th Anniversary month!
For the month I am going to be sharing about my marriage and exactly how we made it to our 25th Anniversary. I have been so excited about this milestone and I want to share here~in case I haven't been so obvious before~that I not only love my Bill but I am in love with him!
To share about Bill and I and how we made it here, I think I need to start with our parents. Bill comes from a large family in 21st century terms but in terms of the 1960's and 1970's his family was normal. His dad and mom instilled some powerful values in my Bill. He was given standards that were expected and then gently corrected when he stepped outside of them. He was raised in a home that had a family business so he worked along side his siblings daily. The report developed between the kids was something he brought to our family. His dad never has been ashamed or uncomfortable showing love for his family and they all hug and are open with their love for each other. This is an amazing attribute of a man...and I truly am thankful as I have benefited as well as the children from Bill being such a loving, compassionate, tender man.
Bill's mom is a woman that is all that and then some. Her first words to me were of kindness and love. She loves her children and pretty much wherever we were stationed Silvina visited. She and I have talked about many things and I think her strength has always been something that resonates with me. She came to the United States with 4 children, pregnant with the fifth and spoke no English. She and my father-in-law came to the United States not with the idea of 'reclaiming' some land that they believed was rightly theirs. They did not come to the United States for benefits or programs that could provide medical care, dental care, and food.
NOPE. They came to the United States because it was a place that truly held more opportunities for them than their place of birth. They did NOT come to take but to climb the same ladder that anyone of us could jump upon at any time. They did not expect others to learn their language but instead arranged for someone to teach their older children English and while the children were taught, they listened and learned too.
And with their newly learned skills they began to build their dream. When I married Bill my in-laws had accomplished their dream of a Mexican Restaurant as well as a Truck Stop in the middle of nowhere with a grocery, curios shop, and gas station.
To share about Bill's siblings~His older sister C has been married for over 30 years. She has 4 children, 4 grandchildren. His second older sister also a C has one son and one granddaughter. His brother R has been married a bit longer than Bill and I and has two children. His sister L has been married about 28 years and has 3 children and three grandchildren. His brother A has been married about 8 years and has three children. His sister L has been married nearly 18 years and has 4 children. In this group of siblings, nephews, nieces and beyond are many college grads, a police officer, a 911 dispatcher, a doctor, a politician, a pilot and more. Pretty amazing if you go back in time to see how Bill's mom and dad's legacy would look.
My parents story is a bit different. It begins rosy and joyous and then before I was born~tragedy. My dad was killed in Vietnam 2months before I was born. Mom became both mom and dad to my siblings ages 5, 4, 4, 3, 2 and then me. When I was three Mom remarried. I can still remember the wedding. I had a creme topped dress with a brown bottom. I had patent leather shoes and through the entire ceremony I loved how the shoes sounded when they kicked the pew in front of me! This marriage was a hard marriage for both of them. The wonderful blessing of the marriage was we gained two more siblings. My oldest sibling C and I became sisters when she was 9 and I was 3! Mom then gave us an ours...and we had a new baby sister A! We truly were a Yours, Mine, and Ours and my step-dad was in the Navy and so it really reminded me of the show with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. Sadly, my step-dad died just before their 8th anniversary. Mom raised me. She really influenced my entire set of morals, values, and behaviors. She was the most creative of people too...and I recall her writing, painting, sewing, or crafting all the time. She is why I love reading the way I do. I grieve a bit as I share that I have been blessed with something she did not have twice. Even if you added up both marriages she was only married for about 15 years. Oh if I could change anything, I would have given her a chance to really develop and grow in a marriage. It does get so much easier when the children get older and the stress, worry, and fear about them. Mom died in 2011...
To share about my siblings~
My oldest sister C is married and has three children. Her husband is truly a gift for her as she is to him. They have 5 grandchildren. My second oldest sister, also C(and her birthday is today) has been married nearly 30 years and she has two children. My brother D has 4 children and 7 grandchildren. My sister L has three children and 1 grandbaby. My brother UJ has been the rock of the family. My brother P has been married one year less than Bill and I and has 2 sons. My sister A has been married for 7 years. This group has retired Colonel, active duty army, businessmen and women, movie director, a teacher, 2 nurses, some powerful athletes that may become Major League Baseball players...Pretty amazing when you calculate that it was all because a woman had to do the best she could with the hardest of life's deals.
As I begin to share our journey to our 25th Wedding Anniversary I must begin with our parents and thank them for raising us the way they did.
To my in-laws
Because of you I have my Bill.
To my parents
Because of you Bill has me.