Ten Years of Knowing You

Posted: January 28, 2020 by Rachel

On the first day of 2010 I wrote the following in my diary: It’s a safe bet to say that the large majority of 2009 was spent in misery, and I just can’t do that to myself again. I refuse to waste another year being unhappy. I want to explore more. Be more. But most of all, I want a partner in crime. Someone who will go along on the ride with me.

I had seen two of my closest friends marry in the last two years as I stumbled dazed and confused through some semblance of a dating life. I met some really great guys, went on some lovely dates, but I had yet to meet someone I could truly see myself with. I hadn’t met my person.

In late January of the same year I found myself at an awful ‘party’ just outside my hometown in Ontario, Canada that involved smelly, dirty boys and video games in a dank basement apartment. I kept sneaking off to the restroom, fighting off tears, wondering if this could possibly be the pool from which I had to find a husband. If this were the case, I’d surely be single forever.

Yet just four days later, on January 28th, 2010, an email came through on my Blackberry at 3am. To this day I can still quote it verbatim, but to keep a long story short, the email (from my boss at the time) was an introduction to someone named Dominic living in Las Vegas.

I was hesitant at first, as one might have expected me to be. I had a vastly incomplete image of Las Vegas in my mind, pieced together from what I’d seen and heard in movies. Still, I’d come to know and trust my boss over the three years we’d been working together and felt there had to have been a good reason for him to send that email.

Not wanting to be the first to respond to the introduction, I sat back and waited, went about with my day. 

Dominic wrote me that same morning.

***

It’s been said that one of the foundations of marriage is good communication. There is no doubt in my mind that Dom and I’s early emails and phone calls and cross-country visits are what set us on a strong path right from the beginning. When we married, two months after my move to Las Vegas and only fourteen months after having been introduced, I was fairly confident that I’d found my person. But now, as we celebrate ten years since our introduction and approach our ninth wedding anniversary, I know—whole heartedly—that he is my someone. He is my person. He and the son we share, are everything. I have everything I have ever wanted. 

I am the living proof that life can change in the blink of an eye.

a (short) conversation about marriage

Posted: January 24, 2020

When she asked if I wanted to talk I’m not sure she expected a conversation about marriage. We’d been grappling with some complex feelings brought on by the confession of a mutual acquaintance and I sensed her real reason for reaching out might be that she herself wanted to talk. I wasn’t ready to talk about the confession, so I talked about marriage. “It’s kind of sad,” I said,  “but I’ve been thinking a lot about how, among all the other things my mom is going to miss, she won’t see how happy I am with Dom. How well I…

January 17

Posted: January 17, 2020

Life seems to moving at lightning speed these days. I keep telling myself to be better at writing it all down before I forget. Looking back, last year comes to me in one big blur of long work hours, grieving and maneuvering my way through the minefield that is parenting my six-year-old son (Seriously, it’s supposed to get easier at some point, isn’t it?). I don’t want 2020 to befall the same fate. So, here I am, attempting to redeem myself.  We’re a little over halfway through January. How I feel about that is neither here nor there, I’m just…

the status of things, part two

Posted: October 10, 2019

Last week, my father started reading my blog. A friend of his, after asking after me one day, had looked me up and come across my website. “How long have you had your blog?” my father asked me one night over the phone. It had come out of the blue and caught me off guard. I told him I’ve had a website, in one form or another, since the eighth grade. He didn’t say much else at the time, and I was too nervous to push for more. The next time we spoke on the phone, he told me he’d…

the status of things, part one

Posted: October 5, 2019

This morning I waited until the boys left, until I heard the car start up and pull away, and then I lit my favorite candle and made a second cup of coffee. My laptop sat open and ready on the kitchen table, the first time I’d even looked at it in weeks. The house was blissfully silent. I’d prepared myself for this, written in my journal just yesterday that this morning would afford me the perfect block of free time to finally sit down and work my way through everything the only way I really know how: by writing it…

35 Years

Posted: June 7, 2019

Today, June 7th, 2019, is my 35th birthday. I’m writing from a chair on the back deck of my parent’s house in Ontario, Canada. The weather is much like what it was two weeks ago back in Las Vegas: mid-70s. It’s glorious. It’s strange to be back here so soon. We left only six weeks ago, a few days after my mother’s funeral. Yet here I am, celebrating a birthday in my childhood home thousands of miles away from my husband, without my mom. I woke up much too early this morning feeling groggy and unsure what time zone my…

The Season Ahead

Posted: June 3, 2019

Despite time moving more slowly than ever—and feeling entirely different since my mother’s death—it’s June somehow. I shake my head every time I’m reminded of this fact. The end of the school year has come and gone; my son is no longer a kindergartener. That alone makes me feel nostalgic, emotional, and a few others things.  I have a tendency of retreating into myself when things get hard, and Things. Are. Hard. But I don’t want to do that this time. My mom would hate it—she would hate to know how much I’ve shut friends and family out already. If…

Some Thoughts on Gratitude

Posted: May 31, 2019

I woke up Wednesday morning with a deep sense of exhaustion in my bones and had only one thought beyond wishing I could go back to sleep: That I would be grateful for this day I’ve been granted. I closed my eyes and listened to the birds outside the window, the kind of quiet coming from my son’s bedroom that could only mean he was still asleep, the soft breathing of my husband in bed next to me. I slipped out of bed and tugged on a housecoat over my nightgown. I was on a mission for coffee; if I…

A New Chapter

Posted: May 28, 2019

I don’t notice the color of my therapist’s new office during my first visit, but looking back on it now, I imagine it to be an unimaginative shade of beige. Beige is boring. And entirely expected. I can, however, recall the way her dark hair was pulled away from her face, and her kind eyes. I wonder if that’s a prerequisite to becoming a therapist; those eyes. The kind that can coax anything from you—the truth, perhaps. Certainly everything else, too.

on losing a mother

she always knew when enough was enough

Posted: May 5, 2019

not many people can tell you what you’re in forwhen you lose a parent suddenly.i’m glad that’s the case, but good godit would be nice to talk to someone my agewho understands what it feels like. my mom died seventeen days ago.we’d been by her side for days, weeks, all of us—sisters, aunts, nieces, nephews, granddaughters,brothers, daughters, husband, friends—but she waited until i stepped out for a moment,when she could be alone with my dad,to take her last breath. i sat back in a tiny, uncomfortable chair,pulled my legs tight against me and wept.i’ve never felt more alone than in…