This year, 2018, marks the 10th anniversary of my wedding to W. As part of the celebration, I will be documenting our relationship from the proposal up to the wedding, and each year up to our 10th anniversary.
I know what you are going to say: “Why was year seven so short and sweet? Where you being lazy?” Truth be told 2016 was a sweetheart of a year until we bought the house. Soon there after the real poop storm made landfall.
December found us sharing a three bedroom, 1300 sq ft home with my sister whose dogs, Dasher and Dexter, ended up moving temporarily into our new place under the guise of guard dogs. Dasher, the German Shepherd mix took this gig seriously while Dexter pooped, peed, and scratched away to his heart’s content. Crating the anxious doggo resulted in a case of happy tail or broken skin that eventually led to its amputation. That was pretty much how 2017 went; by the end we would all lose a little bit of ourselves in the quest for something better.
Work was going so well that the HR system gave me an out of sequence salary bump just in time for the New Year. My sister was scheduled to start working for TSA in mid January with the goal of staying there for a year and then get transferred to anywhere but here, the desert or Georgia. About six months in, Lilo locked it down to the Happiest Place on Earth, Orlando Florida, and we got cracking. It was a hard grueling job for her because of her 3 am start time and the rear wheel drive magenta Camaro’s handling of ice, snow and gas. Many nights we had to switch cars to ensure her safety.
After a million issues with the Château Enginerd, including sewer and inspection drama, we were able to move around mid March. The place didn’t have a fence by the closing date and it was finished soon after. It was a badly done job that we fought hard to have redone by the builder but in the end we had to cough up some cash to put in a retaining wall and reuse the fence panels. Lilo convinced Zach to get into the CX-9 in record time and dropped him off while we cleared the rest of the boxes and stuff we had at her place. The house wasn’t 100% complete but functional. The A/C and other fixes were done in the next few months and by August we were done with the new home odyssey.
Summer hit us hard. Our happy little seventh year honeymoon ended with the loss of two dear friends, Ledwin and Juan Burgos. Juan was killed head on by a drunk driver. Ledwin by a rear collision that should have been an innocent fender bender. Both were on a highway. Both lived in Florida. Both too young to have left us so quickly. We felt cursed. These guys were a big part of our lives, best buds and excellent people. It was like losing Kate and Jesus all over again. Writing goodbye open letters for all those who had early departures left a hole in my soul that was never filled. Carrying on, with business usual, was only possible thanks to the love they cemented in our hearts. We think of them daily. They too deserved more than this provincial life handed to them.
Ledwin’s death hit our college group right in the feels because he left behind a son. The guys quickly rallied to make sure he had everything he needed and a GoFundMe was set up to help the family with bills and future expenses. It’s never easy to see someone so young leave us, especially since it questions your own mortality. W lives in fear he will have a tragic end too just because this is how things have progressed thus far. No one is immune to death. Living for those who can’t is a mission we took very seriously. A part of us always thinks why not us? Why did it have to be them? They don’t call it survivor’s guilt for nothing.
As if the gods knew we needed more pressure in our lives, our MBA applications were accepted. I had pushed W to do a company paid program with me as a symbol of his commitment to our nerdiness. We had always planned to do it but had deferred the decision for almost 8 years. I thought it was a nice way to make up for the salary difference. The University was really enthusiastic about having a married couple in the program and W couldn’t resist the encouragement. This high didn’t last long because the 3 day retreat/intro class cut into the Ireland vacation we had planned with my mother and both our sisters. It was what it was.
The Ireland trip is chronicled in the post linked here. It was mostly a Game of Thrones fan trip, with some other cool stuff sprinkled in between. We got a day off before going to the MBA retreat, which started with none other than a ropes course. This behemoth of a contraption made me question life, the decision to not lose weight prior to it, and how easy it would be to finish the degree. Luckily, this was the hardest thing we would ever had to do as part of the cohort, if you can believe taming it was harder than group work. At least that’s how it felt to me. Trusting strangers to get you through an obstacle of this size was an interesting experience but it was worth the payoff: friendship and camaraderie.
Then Hurricane Maria hit, the island of my childhood was decimated, chaos ensued, and my family would live without power and water for a few months. (For more on the hurricane saga, click here.) All this happened while we, safe in the PNW, spent our days doing homework, complaining about homework, creating decor for the house and sending care packages to Puerto Rico. To take a break from the stress Mom came over for Christmas, while W headed the opposite direction to check on his clan. My sister and mother cooked a Christmas Eve meal that was to die for; pernil, rice, and tons of good boricua food. For New Year’s, W came back and hung out with them while I went back to hang with grandma and the extended family. It was a nice break considering the year we had but I was skeptical that 2018 would be good to us.
As year nine of wedded “bliss” started and the beginning of year ten was coming down the line, I was EXTREMELY apprehensive and anxious. Life always found a way to screw up my milestone celebrations. If my hunch was correct, we would be in for the ride of our lives. As the Starks of Winterfell would say: Winter is here.
Stay tuned for Marriage: Year Nine.
Check out the menu sections for Château Enginerd, Travel, Hurricane Maria and MBA for more info on the subjects covered in this post.