Wednesday, March 23, 2011

 Worth waiting for...

Tomorrow is our tenth wedding anniversary. 

Ten years. 

Ten years of more struggles and joys than anyone could have prepared me for.

It's been incredible!

In celebration of this wonderful milestone, I have a special guest post.  

Written by some one who is clebrating with me.

Some one who knows me really well.

Oh yes, it is. 

Welcome to the blog Dave! 

Dave wrote this as a part of a writing assignment for school. This was written shortly after he started his quest towards his second degree this past fall. 
(He got an A by the way)

 Worth Waiting For
A kiss is just a kiss, or is it?  When we think of boys and girls playing spin the bottle, is there any significant meaning to a kiss?  When we think of Judas, betraying Jesus, was a kiss just a kiss?  To many, a kiss is not much of an event.  In some cultures it is as commonplace as a handshake.  It is the simple pressing and smacking of lips, or maybe just the nuzzling of two noses.  For me, a kiss is something special; something reserved for a special someone.  My first kiss was a moment in my life that I will always remember.

     I can recall the day of my first kiss as though it were yesterday.  As I stood at the front of the church, I watched my bride stand, waiting to walk down the isle.  At the sight of her, my mind drifted back to our first date.  She was younger than I, and from a place far from where I had grown up.  Wendi was a rural girl from small town Iowa.  She was the youngest of five children and the last child remaining at home.  I was from Michigan, where I was raised on a small farm by my parents.  I, the youngest of three, was no longer living with my parents.  I was on my own, working as a truck driver, and hoping some day to find someone to marry.  I wanted someone who would be willing to spend the rest of her life with me.  I wanted a girl who would hold my values, someone who wanted to have a family and was willing to live a simple life.  I didn’t want a life based on climbing the corporate ladder.  I wanted a peaceful life, perhaps in the country.  You know the old farm house, a little garden, and kids running around the yard.  On that first date, I had traveled nearly 500 miles to meet her.  We had met almost two years before at my brothers wedding, she was 17 and I was almost 26.  She hardly caught my eye; I think I had been blinded by the age difference.  This time was different; I was in Iowa, to meet her.  I arrived, determined to pursue her, to get to know her and see if she was the one for me.  Little did I expect her to be just as determined and direct as we met at the bowling ally that July evening.  

     It was a large date.  At the bowling ally there was Wendi’s best friend, who was married to my brother, Wendi’s sister, her sister’s husband and her brother.  As Wendi and I were sent off to the counter to get our bowling shoes, she took advantage of our first moment alone and asked me, “So, why did you come out here any way?”  I was taken by surprise.  I finally collected my thoughts and responded, “I’ve heard a lot about you and I wanted to come out and meet you and see if you might be interested in getting to know me.”  Oh no, was this the answer she was looking for,  should I have been a little less direct, what if this is the beginning of the end?

     Suddenly my mind is pulled back to the present time.  It is time for the song to start.  Oh yeah, it is time for me to call my bride down the isle.  I raised my trumpet to begin to play Trumpet Voluntary by Henry Purcell. As I began to play, I thought back to the time her dad decided he should have a talk with Wendi and I about where our relationship was headed.  This was on my second trip to Iowa to see Wendi.  I had arrived on Friday and that evening Wendi and I went out to eat with her sister and brother-in-law.  That was the first night we held hands.  Things went well that weekend until after church on Sunday.  As we arrived home with Wendi’s mom and dad, her dad said, “I know you two have been getting along well and you seem to like each other, but I think it is time that I tell you what I am thinking.”  I began to fret, oh no, not one of these speeches, I’ve been through this before and it never ends well.  Her dad proceeded to tell us that he liked me and that he could see that Wendi was happy with me.  He told us that he was comfortable with us continuing the relationship and he wanted us to make sure we were headed for marriage and not just playing games.  I found out later that Wendi’s mom cried for the next several days because she knew that her baby girl was going to be leaving their house sooner rather than later.  I couldn’t believe that this was happening.  It had not even been a month since our first date and her dad already was pushing us towards marriage.

     Oh yeah, marriage.  The song is almost over.  It’s time for me to put my trumpet down and accept my bride from her father.  She is so beautiful.  Her white sleeveless dress with its long flowing train, her long dark hair put up under her veil.  She looks like a princess from a fairy tail. I can’t believe this day is here and that I am playing the roll of prince charming.  The preacher talks and a song is sung, now it is time for the rings.  I remember the day we bought her ring.  That morning at breakfast, in her parents log cabin, was the first time I told her that I loved her.  Her response was only slightly startling.  I was expecting an immediate “I love you too.”  Instead there was the “What? …How can you? …you hardly know me…I mean I love you too.”  Then there was the rest of the morning spent following her dad around trying to work up enough courage to officially ask him if I could propose to Wend.  I followed him onto the roof and back down as he cleaned his chimney.  I must have looked like a puppy on a leash as I followed him everywhere he went.  I am convinced he knew exactly what I was up to and he wanted to make me work for it as hard as he could.  I finally asked, and he approved with a smile.

     I had done some research about jewelers in the area and we headed to a little mom and pop store in the small town of Waverly Iowa.  There I talked to the jeweler and asked him to point us toward the rings that would fit in my fifteen hundred dollar budget.  I had eaten hot dogs and macaroni & cheese for a month to be able to save this money.  He showed us some rings and Wendi fell in love with one, but continued to look because she thought it was too expensive.  I finally asked the jeweler to assemble the ring that Wendi loved with the diamond that fit my budget.  Wendi and I went to lunch at the local mall.  I am not sure if the escalator was needed or if we could have just floated up stairs as we arrived at the food court.  After eating lunch we went to pick up the ring.  I had been wondering where to propose to this woman I loved.  I wanted the perfect spot.  I kept looking as we drove through town, but the spot just seemed to elude me.  On our way out of the jewelry store I found the place.  It was a small gazebo next to a bank.  It was at the center of a small park with flower beds and lush landscape all around.  I headed there to ask Wendi to marry me.  As she sat down on the small bench I got down on one knee and popped the question.  Unlike the earlier “I love you” statement, she didn’t even let me finish this question before saying “YES!”  We hugged, prayed, and returned home to show off the ring.

     Do you have a ring?  Do you have a ring?  Oh yes, we are here at the wedding.  Finally my best man produced the ring.  It was now time to give Wendi her wedding set.  The diamonds sparkled so bright.  They reminded me of that night in December, when we were driving around looking at Christmas lights.  It was so cold outside that everything looked like little diamonds under the frost that had formed.  My pickup truck windows were no different.  We found ourselves headed to Wal-Mart to get some windshield washer fluid to clean the windows.  I remember standing in the parking lot looking up at the stars and back down into Wendi’s eyes.  As she looked into my eyes, she said, “You better take me home, I’m having a really good time.”   I did take her home.  After dropping her off I returned to her sister and brother-in-law’s house where I stayed when I would come to Iowa to visit.  Wendi knew that if we kept driving around we would miss the opportunity to have our first kiss on our wedding.

     Oh yes, our wedding.  We exchanged rings and lit the unity candle as a recording of Steve Green singing Cherish the Treasure played in the background.  I was so thankful for the treasure I had found and was looking forward to cherishing her for the rest of my life.  As the song ended the preacher declared, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.  David, you may finally kiss your bride.”  Here it was, our first kiss.  Not just our first kiss, but my first kiss, and her first kiss.  As these thoughts were flooding my mind, our lips touched, she then leaned in and kissed me three times; once on each cheek, and once on the forehead.  We hugged, were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. David McCallum and walked down the isle to the pastor’s office.  There we celebrated our first kiss.  Of course there had been the kisses from my mother and aunts and uncles as I was a child, but what I am talking about is my first kiss with a girl.  I’m talking about my first real kiss.  This kiss was something I had waited my whole life for.  I had longed for this closeness and for someone that I could share this special moment with.  I had had girlfriends in the past and wondered why this special thing had never happened.  Apparently the timing was just not right.  Or perhaps I knew there was only one person I could share this special moment with, the moment of my first kiss.  I wanted her to be someone I would get to spend the rest of my life with.
       It has been nearly ten years since the day of my first kiss.  Wendi is still the only woman I have kissed and I am the only man she has ever kissed.  This decision began long before we ever met.  It was something that we both felt guided to do.  We both felt that purity and commitment was the best way to a strong marriage.  We did not make this choice because we were strong and wanted to show the world our strength.  We made this decision because we knew we were weak.  We knew that if we gave in to a little kiss we would likely blow past moral standards we both wanted to uphold.  In this small decision we have built up a trust in one another that has helped us through some tough times in our marriage.  Should everyone wait for their first kiss to be on their wedding day?  I don’t think that is required.  Should every marriage be founded in commitment to ones spouse and agreeing to love them even when times get tough?  I absolutely agree that the commitment to love, even when we have to choose to love, would help couples to stay together and enjoy each other.  Aside from early death separating us, I look forward to growing old with the girl of my dreams, the one who I shared my first kiss with, my wonderful wife, Wendi.


E. RaMona said...

Is Dave's second degree an English degree in Creative Writing?!! My goodness, this was amazing! I felt like I was beginning a novel!

Wow! What an amazing story. congratulations to the both of you. I pray that your marriage continues to be saturated with the love of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I really enjoyed reading this post and I feel extremely blessed by this.

Congratulations guys!

Katarina said...

WOW! What a story.
Happy 10 years, may God bless the 2 of you with many many more as you learn and grow and love each other.

Rebecca said...

this is just beautiful...brought tears to my eyes!

happy anniversary!

Heather said...

Great job, Dave! Beautiful story.

And Happy Anniversary to you both!


Stacey said...

I never really heard your thoughts on it. Cool!! Happy 10th anniversary!

Jackie@Our Moments, Our Memories said...

Oh, this is wonderful. Dave - amazing fun hearing this from your side of things.

Wendi - love your response to Dave's first "I love you". :) Reminds me of when Ricardo proposed to me and I was so shocked that it took me about 10 min. to say yes (literally. and he still won't let me live that down). :)

And also...Cherish the Treasure - I had forgotten all about that song! My family was a huge fan of Steve Green when I was growing up and I remember when that song came out I thought it was so amazing. :)

Happy Anniversary, you guys.

Kristin said...

I really want to take pictures of you two....

Sarah M. said...

He made the handing over of the ring such a direct process :)

Angela Nazworth said...

Wow!! WOW!! Beautiful. Two gifted writers in the same house. Two beautiful hearts. Happy anniversary to you and Dave. Hugs. Angela

Arlona said...

The giving of the ring is another story! But I guess that he did not want to take the sacredness out of it for this wonderful love story! So glad to have you as part of our family, Wendi. Good choice, Dave. Love, Mom

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

So beautifully told, Dave!

I had to re-read who was at the bowling alley on your first's confusing to me and I know you all now! :)

BARBIE said...

So absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great post. I hope you have a wonderful day. Happy Anniversary!

Megan said...

This was so touching.

Literally brought tears to my eyes.

{Yes! Welcome to the blog Dave! If all of your boys don't end up having writing talents I would be VERY surprised! They get it from BOTH sides!!}

Nikki said...

This is an amazing post--thank you, Dave, for sharing your heart and these precious moments from your past! I love hearing people's love stories, and y'all's is a REALLY good love story. So, so beautiful. Happy Anniversary, lovebirds!

Hayley said...

Wow. . .

This is great.

So fun to read from Dave's perspective and know those parts of your life. . . like that gazebo and Waverly Wal-Mart.

Ha ha ha "I'm having a really good time."

My family still talks about your Trumpet Voluntary solo, Dave; it was breathtaking. And I remember your three kisses, Wendi!! You cracked the whole church up! Too sweet!

So glad we knew you then and that you are part of our lives now.

Happy anniversary.

Rachel said...

So beautiful and I loved hearing this from Dave's perspective. I really loved his way of explaining why you saved your first kiss until then... what a wise and beautiful decision.

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

What a beautiful story, seriously....crying my eyes out, with a big smile on my face :)
And I love how you described your decision to wait to kiss, 'not because you were strong, but because you were weak' very very wise.

Jenn said...

Loved reading Dave's writings! Such a beautiful memory for you both. Happy Anniversary!

Sara said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.
Happy Aniversary to you both! And my the Lord continue to bless and strengthen your marriage.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Absolutely positively beautiful. I'm so glad Dave let you share that with us!

Kristen@LiveLifeInWonder said...

Cue the big, ugly cry! Where is the box of kleenex? This is beautiful. Dave is a really great writer. I adore your love story. It's stunning and beautiful! I understand better why the two of you are such a wonderful couple. It started clear from the beginning.