"Us"~ the Cliffs Notes

August 3, 2010

This month, Freddie and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage. We have quite a history behind us. We met about 22 years ago when I was about 15 years old. Freddie and I hit it off right away. It was very innocent in the beginning. We truly were really good friends~ nothing more, nothing less. As time passed my feelings for Freddie began to change. I was falling in love with him. It took a few weeks or months, but, he eventually confessed that he'd been having the same feelings for me. We dated for a while and, not unlike many teenagers, we did end up going our separate ways to "sow our own oats". After high school graduation, Freddie tracked me down. I had moved out of my parents' house to a different city and somehow, he managed to find me. We rekindled our relationship where it had left off a few years earlier and it quickly grew into something very serious.

Eventually, I moved into his parents' home because of my own financial situation. After several months, he left for boot camp. He'd joined the Navy's delayed entry program while he was still in high school. I was crushed. Devastated. I vowed to wait for him for however long it took. And I did. I waited. Every day I would practically meet the mailman at his car, praying to get a letter from Freddie. There was no internet or cell phone back then. We had good ole snail mail! He got really creative and bought a tape recorder and began sending me cassette tapes of conversation from him to me and I reciprocated. I still have a few of those tapes hidden somewhere.

After he'd been gone for many weeks, he called home and I was not there! His mom took the call~ the most important call he'd ever made. The one call especially intended for ME! The one I would not want to miss! He had no idea when he would be allowed to call again, so he wanted his mom to ask me if I would marry him! I will never forget that conversation with his mom as long as I live~ it went something like this:
Me: Did Freddie call? Her: Yes. Me: Oh, man! I can't believe I missed it! What did he say? Her: He wants to know if you'll marry him. Me: You lie!!!!!!!! Her: (chuckling) No. I'm serious. Me: If you're lying I will be so mad! Are you serious?

So, I guess a week or so later I got his next phone call. I did not dare leave the house for any longer than I absolutely had to! It was really sweet, and we were both nervous. He said, "Well, what's your answer?" I said, "I didn't hear a question." He said, "Dana Dawn, will you marry me?" I said, "With pleasure!"

We planned a small wedding with about 300 guests. His only requests were that I wear a long train and that his friend's band play at our reception. He was home for 9 days on leave, and 3 days after Hurricane Andrew, on August 29, 1992, our family began as we became Mr. and Mrs. Freddie Calverette.

The years that followed have been filled with many adventures. We have loved with passion and have fought with passion. We have experienced many firsts together. We've traveled together to places neither one of us ever thought we'd ever get to. We have inadvertantly broken each other's hearts more than once along the way, but we've also held on to each other during times of trial, disappointment, loss, and devastation. We've encouraged each other to be more than we believe for ourselves. In frustration, we've used each other as a scape goat and we've given forgiveness that was not deserved. And every single day, we've fallen more in love with each other than we were the day before!

I absolutely adore that man! I have a respect for him that is unparalleled. He is my family and my home. He fills my heart beyond capacity. He makes me feel content and safe. He is the one I want to share everything with. He pushes me to be more and give more. He never lets me settle for mediocrity. He gives me so much more than I deserve. I want to grow very old with him! He is my soulmate and I never want to be without him. Looking back on where we've come from and all that we've gone through, I am very excited to see where we will end up. I look forward to spending forever with him.

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand it's own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1Corinthians13:4-7

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