To death due us part we’d be each other’s only
Be quick to say sorry and quick to forgive
Be thankful for one another as long as you live
Disagreements happen handle them with care
When your spouse is in need do your best to be there
Love in marriage is about giving, accepting, receiving and giving again
Pray together and stay together keep each other safe dear woman and men
Remember it is not the two of you but three
My God, my husband and me
In the fall of 1993, I began my 2nd year of Fitchburg State College and my 4th year of College.
The first two being at Dean Jr. College in Franklin Mass.
Kristin began her 2nd year at college, her first year being at the Community College of RI, which actually was her final year of High School.
She was in a special program called Concurrent Enrollment.
As Kristin and I walked up the steps to the school cafeteria one day during the early days of school that year
I turned to her not knowing who she was and asked her this question,
“What’s So Great About Being Straight?”
Even though this is the first time I remember noticing her, this is not the first time she had noticed me.
She noticed me during Mass at the Newman Center not sitting still and being loud in the front row.
Her first impression of me at the time was “What type of disability does he have?”
She didn’t know what my sexual preferences were and she played it safe and responded,
I had seen a sign hanging up for the LGBT club with that slogan, and having quirky sense of humor asked a random person that question.
She actually had lunch with me after spotting me sitting alone in the cafeteria.
27 years later as I write this were about to watch The Solemnity of the Queenship of Mary Mass on CatholicTV, where I used to work.
Yesterday in my Facebook memories this popped up.
11 Years Ago:
Today is a New Year. Tommorow is my new life (with a wife) January 1, 2010.
Today on January 2, 2021, we celebrate 11 years of blissful sacramental marriage.
Recently I discovered that our wedding day is on the birthday of
St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)
and Sci-Fi Author Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992)
And Luisa Carvajal y Mendoza, (January 2, 1566 – January 2, 1614)
a Spanish mystical poet and Catholic martyr died on this day,
As well as Alan Hale Jr AKA The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.
He was born on March 8, 1921 and my father was born on March 17, 1921.
He died on January 2, 1990 and I graduated High School in May 1990.
It is also the feast day of Bishops and Doctors St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen.
And National Science Fiction Day.
It’s been a great 11 years with many joys, sorrows, ups, downs, comforts and challenges.
Here are 11 of those moments over the course of the last 11 years.
1. It was a snowy day on the day of our wedding. When we came home from our wedding reception, I had to shovel out the driveway. Kristin offered me some Hot Chocolate when I came into the house. But we never drank the Hot Chocolate. Kristin remembers the first time I kissed her way back in front of Aubuchon Hall all those years ago. Now we would remember this night as the first of something else. Kristin and I both entered into our marriage as virgins. When it came time to consummate our marriage, we realized that it was not as easy and clean as it is portrayed in the movies. It was a lot more physically challenging and messy. But hey, people have been doing it from the dawn of time and we would eventually figure it out ourselves.
2. The first real trip that we made together was going to Florida on our Honeymoon. We had a fun filled vacation where we visited Disney World, Universal Studios, The Holy Land Experience, The Upside Museum, went to a murder mystery dinner theater show, saw an Irish singer perform Irish songs at a pub and saw the movie Leap Year. It was a memorable time as we got to have fun and just enjoyed each other’s company in our new life together.
3. Besides our Honeymoon, Kristin and I have done lots of traveling all over the state of Massachusetts together, going back and forth to Rhode Island and traveling to Amish Country in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and to Ireland to visit many of Kristin’s relatives.
4. We first meet Princess when she was 13 in 2012. She turned 14 a month later and a year later on November 22, 2013 when she was 15, she officially joined our family. She became Catholic the following Easter in 2014 out of her own free will. Adopting a special needs child was a highlight of our married years even though now 7 years later our daughter is not talking to us and won’t let us see or visit our grandchild. It’s been a roller coaster ride with her as her mental health, intelligent issues, and wounded psyche have contributed to her making some poor moral choices that alienated her from her adoptive family and her faith. I still hold out hope God will produce a miracle in her life for our prodigal daughter.
5. Many interesting people have entered our life over the last 11 years and some have actually come to live with us here in our house. We have had homeless people, a co-worker, my cousin, and my daughter’s boyfriend and best friend all come to live with us. It was always interesting to have other people share our dwelling. We have also made significant friends with the foster parents of Princess’s younger brother, Tyrese. Another person of significance would be one of our Guest Contributors at the Catholic Bard, Jackson Werner, who I meet working at St. Patrick’s Manor and who actually dated Princess for a short while and she was his sponsor when he became Catholic. She sadly no longer practices her Catholic faith.
6. Kristin and I have done our fair share of volunteering over the years. We both volunteered at the Sarmatians which is a Suicide prevention hotline. Before I lost my job at CatholicTV we both volunteered as Catechists at our church St. George’s. We currently volunteer with the St. Vincent De Paul Society.
7. One of our many struggles that Kristin and I have had to deal with is Kristin’s health concerns. She had a hysterectomy to deal with her awful menstrual pain she had during her periods. Her high levels of stress contributed by her anxiety have not helped her to have peace and tranquility. And the number one health concern is trying to control her seizures caused by her epilepsy. She has been to the hospital a few times to have her brain looked at because of it. There is the anxiety that is produced every month when we realize that ‘Hey we need more medicine and we need it by tomorrow and I haven’t called my doctor yet”. This cross while a real challenge has been the thorn in our flesh that has helped keep us humble and relying on the Lord to provide our needs for us.
8. Kristin finally achieved her lifelong dream of becoming part of something bigger than herself. She became a lay Carmelite O.C. D. S. I would drive her to her monthly meetings and somewhat participate by going to Mass and also by inquiring about the lay order by going to an session meant for guests or perspective future members. The meetings took place in Danvers Mass, right near where I grew up. My father used to be very heavily involved in the rosary prayer circuit back in the 90’s and early 2000’s before he died in 2003. Some of the O.C.D.S. people remembered my father and was glad to see his son at the lay Carmelite meetings.
9. I have worked at several places where I was able to visit the blessed sacrament on a regular basis. The Carmelite Gift Store at the Northshore Mall in Peabody Mass. CatholicTV in Watertown Mass. And now St. Patrick’s Manor here in Framingham Ma. St. Patrick’s is where I meet Jackson. I have meet several other people there including a girl who lived with us for a short time before stealing our money and later coming in and vandalizing our property. I used to take several people home every night after work driving all over town to drop people off who didn’t have cars. I got Princess’s boyfriend Spencer a job at the manor as well as her friend Trisha. Kristin got a volunteer job there as well. All and all getting a job at St. Patrick’s has played a significant role in my working life during our married years. It is the best commute I have had in any job as the Manor is less than 5 minutes driving time from our house.
10. We have experienced the birth or our granddaughter which we still have not seen except in some pictures. We have experienced the death of several people including two of my neighbors who grow up with me, a former HS classmate of mine and also his sister several years earlier, Kristin’s grandmother, and her grandfather at Christmas one year and her cousin this past summer, my mother, and two close friends of ours who we used to hang out with on a regular basis that were part of a larger group of friends. Sam was one of them and also Patti whom I mentioned in a post earlier last year. Her brother and mother also died, all of Covid. As you continue to live, death becomes a reality of living.
11. Kristin and I have watched a lot of movies and tv together. Often getting excited at watching the next episode of some show wanting to find out what happens next. When our daughter lived with us, we would watch countless viewings of ‘The Sound of Music,’ ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’, and ‘Elf’. Kristin would watch her English shows ‘Ballykissangel’ and ‘Father Ted’, over and over again. But it is a YouTube video starring comedian Catherine Tate as sassy schoolgirl Laurine Cooper harassing school teacher David Tennant that stands out the most in our viewing history. It is a video we have quoted often in our best English accents. Any video with Tate as Cooper is always an occasion for an explosion of laughter to happen for Kristin who laughs long and hard when the mood hits her.
As a special added bonus to our 11 years to make this 12 (as I have been doing that with a lot of my posts) is writing for the CatholicBard. It has given us (especially me) a real focused vision of how to spend my free time. I love writing for this blog even if I don’t get a lot of readers. I have always wanted to write and this opportunity to create blog posts on such a great site as Patheos was my opportunity to do so. God has always lead me to places where I can work or study my Catholic faith. This includes going to Franciscan University. I wonder what possibilities are in the future. I have some in mind that I will reveal at a later time.
I don’t know what the next 11 years will bring will bring in our marriage.
Will we still both be alive that long?
All I know is that I love my wife and we will continue to pursue a holy marriage
till death do us part.