24 October 2012

Commitment...With a Kiss

"Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision,
and give us the 'right stuff' to turn our dreams into reality."
~James Womack

Today is my 20th wedding anniversary.
I found this post that I did on October 12, 2010, 
on the 25th anniversary of our first kiss.
I feel that it is appropriate to reprint it today
to remember the commitment I have to the love of  my life,
my best friend, Paul. 
 Babe, you knocked my shoes off then and you are still doing it now. 
I love you!
I sat down just before midnight on October 12, 2010 to write this post not sure where I was going with it. I am choosing a Virtues card at random and Commitment is the one for this week {truthfully, I almost tucked it back in and picked a different one...but that would be against my commitment to this process...hmmmm?}. I had just come home at 10:30pm from buying milk and about $135 worth of things that weren't on my list. I was tired and crabby. I wanted to read a book and tutorial to prepare myself for some experiments for tomorrow. But something stopped me about that date.

I spent some time thinking about it. Then it hit me. Homecoming is this weekend for my alma mater Pacelli High School. My {then} 7th grade son, Rocket, will be marching in the parade and playing during halftime. And that is when I knew what it was.

Twenty-seven years ago on this very night, October 12th, perhaps at this very moment, I got my first kiss.

Okay. It wasn't my FIRST kiss. But it was the first one that counted. Because it was with the man that I have come to regard as the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I have known my husband since we were both the new kids at St. Stephen Elementary school back in 1978 for 5th grade. We were about the same age that my daughter is right now. We lived two blocks from each other. We rode the same bus to school.

Over time he developed a crush on my best friend {everyone did - Hi Lynna!}. Our paths might cross, but we didn't run in the same circles {even though our circles were mighty small in a graduating class of 93 students}.

Earlier that year we carried on a bit of a flirtation one weekend during the annual Trivia contest in our city {World's Largest. You can look it up.} There is a picture of us peeking out from under a blanket. And no, we were not up to anything other than warmth...and flirting. {What kind of a girl do you think I am?} I wish I could find these pictures now... but it is so late and I am too tired to know where to start. He was always gone every summer, out to tend the land on the farm that his family owned so after that spring, I thought little of it {and besides, I did have a boyfriend at the time that I was busy breaking up with...good thing, too.}

On that end-of-summer day in 1985 there was a yearbook signing party. I recall him striding over to me and my best friend sitting under a tree. He asked to sign my yearbook {not hers}. I remember writing some trite thing like, "1986 will be the best year yet!" But it is what he wrote in mine that I will never forget.

"I hope we become better friends."

Wha? I remember my best friend and I being all in a tizzy about that. And with those words he set into motion the start of something special.

He made a commitment after our flirtatious spring to find a way to ask me out. I found out years later that he spent all summer working on the farm thinking of ways to do it. That certainly shows that he had vision and a confidence that his plan would produce the desired result. And that little note in my yearbook still makes me smile. For it set in motion a series of events that forever changed my life.

Our first date was Friday, September 6th. We went to the first football game and to the 'sock hop' after {doesn't that make me sound ancient? Really, it was just a dance in the gym...in our socks ;-}.

We spent many days after that walking through the halls holding hands, causing everyone else in our class to gasp {"What is he doing with her?"}. He lingered with me at volleyball practice. He drove me home from school and then called me on the phone at night where I would spend hours talking, he listening {he said he liked to hear me talk, but really he was just shy...and truthfully I never shut up!}. He passed me little origami-like notes in class {I still have an entire shoebox of them.}

But he never kissed me. Not once.

It drove my best friend a little nuts, I think. But I wasn't worried. And I am forever grateful that he didn't cave to the pressure of others wondering why it hadn't happened yet.

Whether he planned it or not, this waiting was a commitment. We let our relationship build and develop. We spent time finding out the truth about one another. That time that we took built our loyalty and certainly contributed to the 'right stuff' that made our dreams a reality. I think that has made all the difference during this life.

I clearly remember October 12, 1985. It was our Senior year Homecoming. So that was special in itself. I remember that I wore a black sparkly cocktail dress that was loaned to me from a friend of my mother's {wish I could find the picture... I was so skiiiinnnnyyy!}. I bought some crystal and jet rhinestone earrings that were quite stunning. I had on impossibly high heeled black pumps.

{Found the pic! from the Color Palette Blog Walk from Brandi Hussey last year. Man was I skinny!}

We danced the night away. Our class was notorious for not agreeing on anything, so the theme for Homecoming was B.Y.O.T. {Bring Your Own Theme... I know. Completely lame.} I also remember that he chose the first slow dance theme of the night. That fluttering feeling of hearing the DJ announce Bryan Adams' 'Heaven' as dedicated to me still makes me swoon. That will always be our song {and the lyrics are even more poignant today}.

My feet hurt from those impossibly high heels and I recall that he carried me to the dance floor. {Probably the first and last time that ever happened, but it was sweet.} I remember not wanting the night to end.

We sat in his car around midnight parked outside my grandmother's house on Portage Street where I was staying for the weekend while my parents were out of town. The light of the one street lamp across the street provided a warm glow that chased away the chill in the night air. We talked about everything until there were no more words {and you can imagine how rare that must be for me!}. But the silence wasn't awkward. It was comforting. In that momentary lull, it happened.

He leaned in and kissed me.

And it wasn't a polite peck on the cheek.

But it wasn't a floodgate of lust either.

It was the single most electrifying sensation that literally took my breath away. And actually knocked my shoes off.

Can you have flash forwards instead of flash backs? Because I swear that is what happened in the moment. I flashed forward to what my life could be like. I liked what I saw. And the rest is history.

What does this have to do with commitment?

Commitment is about making a choice and keeping it. It is about accepting responsibility and having the confidence to remain true. It is about giving yourself fully and going the distance.

Twenty-seven years ago tonight the kiss that was more than a month in the making held so much promise. It was as if in that moment I knew that my heart was making a commitment to this man. It felt like so much more than giving into the moment. I quite clearly remember a feeling of revelation. It wasn't love at first sight but rather love at first kiss.

And on this day twenty-seven years later I realize that it is still a thrill to be with this man, this Husband, who knows that no two kisses are ever alike. Who knows that a kiss is not to be taken lightly or be pressured into giving, or receiving. Who knows that there can be a lifetime of promise in one.

On October 24, 1992 we sealed that commitment with another kiss in front of our parents, friends, family, congregation and God.

Happy 20th wedding anniversary, my sweet!  

Can it really be that long?

And thank you for the kiss that started it all 27 years ago. It literally rocked my world. And for all the kisses since that continue to rock my world... I treasure every one as a symbol that our commitment is still as strong.
From the Virtue Card: Commitment

"Commitment is caring deeply about a person, a goal or a belief. Once we discern a direction we go for it wholeheartedly. We don't hold back, second-guess our decision or hesitate to act on it fully. We set goals and achieve them. We make promises and keep them. We go the extra mile. We are faithful to our relationships and don't allow problems to make us waver. Keeping our commitments strengthens our inner integrity. It deepens our capacity to carry responsibility with grace."

The Practice of Commitment
  • I am discerning about my decisions.
  • I give 100% to whatever I do.
  • I am confident in my choices.
  • I keep my agreements.
  • I am loyal to those I care about.
  • I have the strength to go the distance.
  • I am thankful for the gift of Commitment.
  • It brings passion to my purpose.
Was your FIRST kiss your first kiss? Or did it take some time {and some frogs} to have that revelation?

Do tell!


Courtney Breul said...

A huge congratulations to you both! I know that feeling of commitment and love, have been with my amazing husband for 24 years now!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful story Erin - the stars were definitely lined up for you both. You are a wonderful role model as commitment is definitely needed in a long marriage. I am in my 37th year with my patient and wonderful husband. Congratulations and keep on doing what you are doing!

Alice said...

Happy Anniversary to you both! What a lovely story, and what a cute couple you made!

Here's to many more years with your sweetheart.

Brandi Hussey said...

Aww, happy anniversary, Miss Erin!

cw whitedogjewelry said...

Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful story. 'wishing you many, many more.

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Erin,
Happy Anniversary to both of you. Thank you for sharing the story of your first real kiss. It is a beautiful first chapter to the life the two of you share.

Amy's said...

I had to read your post because I found it interesting.
It's a beautiful story. Happy Anniversary

Rebecca said...

Aw, bless you Erin - you are so sweet! What a lovely couple. Congratulations! I hope you have some awesome celebrations in order. (And by the way, I kissed quite a few frogs before I found the girl that was right for me :-))

Anonymous said...

what a romantic story! Erin, you are truly blessed as is your husband. Thanks for sharing that! It lifted me up!

Bobbie said...

This was lovely...congratulations, and warm wishes for many more years of those memorable kisses!

Anonymous said...

Namaste Erin. A beautiful post. Much joy for you and Paul and thank you for sharing! PS What about a work of art using all those origami messages? Or perhaps hanging in wonderful lines over a window. Wendy Moore

sandi m said...

Happy Anniversary, Erin. You found your Prince on that first kiss ... lucky you. Wishing you many more years of happiness.

PS - Have a great time in MI ~ the location looks awesome.

Lori P said...

Sweetest story EVER! And congrats on your 20th. Enjoy the day. :)

mairedodd said...

so beautiful -
the happiest of anniversaries to you - and many many more...

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful story, very inspiring words. It always warms my heart to read/see/hear real life love stories!
Thank you for sharing.

Shel said...

Congratulations and thank you for sharing such a heart-felt and lovely story. I love reading your blog and although I don't comment that often, I find your stories and your writing (and your jewelry, too!) to be so inispiring and wonderful!

Maneki said...

Happy anniversary to both of you! And a wish for many more happy years together to come.

Becky Pancake said...

Congratulations Erin. I just started following your blog & I want to say thanx for sharing that touching story with all of us. I hope you & Paul have lots more happy years together.

Dawn Doucette said...

Happy anniversary a day late. But you ARE spending the entire week celebrating, right? :) I send you wishes of many, many more decades of unending love!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Oh Erin! What a beautiful story, there are few things I love quite so much as a romance... and this is a true and perfect one. I feel like over the last year or so, getting to know you through your posts and our few emails... everything... I just admire you more and more. God bless you and your husband, your beautiful marriage... may you have many many more wonderful years together full of such joy!

I kissed my share of frogs before I finally was kissed by my prince. Our first kiss was... well, your first kiss, the way you described it... sounds just right. It was sweet, but not innocent. Full. Of promise. We have been together for about ten years now and married for almost eight.

Thank you for sharing, Erin, it was inspiring as always!


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