Today I've been married to my dear sweet loving husband for five years. If I am generous I would say we have known each other for five years, six months, but honesty forces me to admit it has been a bit less than that. Yet I can't imagine finding a better mate if I spent ten years getting to know him. Not perfect on all counts - but the perfect compliment for my own too numerous imperfections. We were meant for each other I believe - meant to be together.
We've managed to pack a lot into our five years together. Seven pregnancies, a thriving business lost, four addresses in three different towns, three schools, foreclosure, a glimpse at homelessness...... yes there is more. We have been stripped clean in many senses - extras left behind to make room for the good stuff - better stuff. We've clung ferociously, even obstinately to our values, scarifying much in their name. I often wonder if we are right.
Lots of good things have happened to us in five years, but I would be Polly Anna's perkier baby-sister if I denied the bad stuff. Or if I lied and said I am better for having experienced it all. Parts of me are better - but it's not "all good" my any means. I feel shell shocked sometimes. A true survivor of war would certainly balk at my cooptation of the term “shell shock”, just as I balk when people compare the deaths of their cats the deaths of my babies. But I don't begrudge them lest I be begrudged.
Someone who should have known better than to be so unkind recently asked me why I “let” some of the particularly difficult things we have struggled through happen to our family. What a luxury to have never tripped on pebble that catapults you into a shit hole. We are an intelligent, educated, and hard-working pair, and it happened to us. I dare say it could happen to anyone. That is why I want to tell our story - it is as American as any Horatio Alger tale - and it happened to us.