Remember Us – the journey to start a new life with my future wife

A relationship worth leaving my career for…& now worth sharing fond memories together over

Do you share memories with your mate that felt like this?

Sometimes awe-inspiring events can take you back to Warm, Safe
Memories…

Walking quietly, the soldier approaches the mountain peak’s
edge…

He walks straight up to edge. One last look of the expanse
of heaven 14,110 feet high!

A friend’s voice was yelling from behind the soldier, breaking
through the roar of high-altitude winds,

“Hey Man!”…
“Hey, Space Case, what’ya doing!”

Barely taking his eyes off of the beautiful overlay of
brilliantly beaming light the soldier lifted his left hand
and index finger, as if to say, “Hold on.”

He had to take in the shining clouds over high peaked
mountains, other slightly purple-hazed mountains…

Man, how those deep darkly shadowed gorges were impressively
filled with wild fir trees. All of this lay atop the grid of
civilization that was meshed with untamed bad-lands between
Colorado Springs and Denver.

The soldier paused at the crested zenith of Pike’s Peak, in
order to slowly crouch down in his faded, old, and worn battle
dress uniform with slightly frayed cuffs and faded knees to
crouch and sift mountain red top soil between his fingers.
His mind was on the razor’s-edge choice he and his love had
made. He was following through with it at that moment,
but his thoughts were searching the inner depths of his heart.

That soldier was me, over nine years ago and that friend
calling me “Space Case” was my best friend and former Army
Barracks roommate. My loyal friend, who liked to tease,
traveled with me on my final ascent up Pike’s Peak to say
good-bye to my life in the Army.

I had followed the vision that set me out on the life changing
journey of joining the US Army. Now, I was closing that chapter
of my life forever. I decided not to re-enlist for another
four more years as a Sergeant. I finished my enlistment having
served honorably for my country. The lessons of a life of
strict discipline that I learned had changed me and the proof
of that transformation changed the heart of that girl that
I had fallen in love with those five years prior. The vision
I had three years earlier showed me that I would join the Army
and marry her.

She was the object of that vision that foretold our life.
It was a life that would thrive on the razor’s edge. This
vision proved that my life would go through different seasons,
and that each would never be the same as the one before.

This thing that still lingered deep in my chest had finally
gotten to me. This unconquerable love feeling for this girl,
who I had grown up with, had grown to become the source of
all my terrible yearning. That yearning caused such an ache
of deep pain in the center of my chest. Though I had grown
into a man, for that moment atop of the world, at least in
my soul, she was still fifteen and I was still seventeen.

Five years! I had invested my heart and my intentions in the
close friendship relationship with her for close to five years
strait. And, with the utterance of four simple words from her
perfectly shaped lips the Christmas before my enlistment was
due to renew she said, “James, I love you!” At that point,
everything in my life had changed, and finally taken picture
perfect shape. Those words will forever lay etched on my mind.

Over three years prior to her sharing those four words with
me, I had a vision of this moment being a reality. Still,
those four years of waiting and yearning for her had taken
its toll on my heart. Yet, going through a long-distance
relationship with her was the easy part.

I wondered, “How will being together, all of a sudden, after
all these years turn out?”

I decided that the only way to find out was to just finish
stuffing the rest of my belongings into my teal green 98
Chevy Cavalier and simply go as fast as possible. These
decisions were finalized in my mind, as my friend and I
wearily reached the top of Pikes Peak on my last day in the
US Army.

I headed down the mountain, exhausted from my ‘half the day
long’ hike, in the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway that carried weary
and altitude sick hikers back to the base of the mountain.
As I lifted my weak head from between both of my arms which
hung for dear life to the top of the seat that was in front
of me, I drank the last of my water, and I prayed for the
strength to be ready to say goodbye to all of my friends and
set out on my cross country journey to go home, and be with
the woman I loved.

Everything changed in my life with the turning over of the
engine in my car. That was the last time I belonged to the
US Army.

Now my life had to be about pursuing, loving, and understanding
her!

The thing that made my wheels keep on spinning. The thing
that motivated me to get to her faster was the memory of our
first kiss.

This was the sweet “picture-perfect” memory that I return to
when she and I embark on a new direction in our lives. This
is especially the case now that we have been married for 8 unpredictable, yet happy years.

Win-Loose, or Draw, I was embarking on a new vision quest to
be with the love of my life.

Let me ask you this. Do you remember the very first kiss that
you and your mate shared?

I can fairly well remember the details of Sarah and my first
kiss.

Let’s flash back to that preceding Christmas that she confessed
her love for me.

We had been together after she told me she loved me for only
a couple of days. This time I picked her up in my grandparent’s
car. It was the same car that kept on overheating on that
first night of our new relationship.  This time I stuck to
the highway to allow the breeze from higher speeds to keep
the engine cool enough to drive without any problems.

We spent the day with my parents and grandparents sharing
Christmas delights and sharing all of our new plans, which
consequently did involve the promise to get married some day.

Well, the time came around for my parent’s mini-golden retriever,
Mandy, to go for a walk. The joke was that she was my little
sister, who replaced me when I left for military service
(I’m the youngest and last to leave home). Sarah was more
than happy to come with Mandy and me. We talked and walked
hand in hand while Mandy simply strolled happily down the
side walk. The cool, refreshing December breeze in the suburbs
of Central Florida and the sinewy camphor and strong oak trees
were still holding on to some leaves in the chill of the wind.

I knew that as we approached an intersection in my neighborhood
that I had to kiss her.

I picked up on two omens that were telling me to do it – right
then and there.

As we approached the intersection we came upon the old familiar
prank graffiti covered stop sign, that some smart-aleck spray
painted the word ME under the familiar STOP letters for the sign.

STOP
ME!

“Stop Me!” Is what it said, but in my own mind I was secretly
telling the prankster – “Just you try and STOP ME!”

The other thing that I remember is that Mandy all of a sudden
stopped her prancing stride down the sidewalk to just, stand
there to look around, check Sarah and I out, and then just
wait patiently.

This was not her normal demeanor as if she knew what I was
thinking and trying to goad me to do it!

Sarah and I were just standing there and our conversation
started to lose its momentum, so I just looked at her deeply
in her eyes, she started to look a little nervous and then…

I pulled in quick to give her a short, yet connecting close
mouth kiss. A moment later, I put my free hand around the
small of her back and pulled her slowly in to me!

That was it. Our eyes stayed interlocked as we ended the kiss.

It was sweet and magical.

Neither of us will ever forget it, nor ever forget our second
kiss, which was profoundly more passionate. But, since I am
telling you the story of Sarah’s and my first kiss, that story
will have to wait for another newsletter.

My point is that indeed, a marriage that has the strength of
being resilient against many of the forces of stress that
weigh on a marriage relationship needs to be shored up by
shared memories. Memories such as ‘your first kiss together’
are safe and emotionally warming memories that both of you
can use to curl up together with like you would curl up
together by a warm glowing fire!

That first kiss memory was my focal point in traveling cross
country to finally be with her and it is one of the many focal
points we focus on now when we need to re-connect emotionally
when the going gets tough!

I encourage you and your spouse to sift through your memories,
pick just one that can be a GREAT focal point for any efforts
you have together to rekindle the flame of passion in your
marriage.

DO IT TODAY, Because you may not have tomorrow if you do not
fight for your marriage with all that you have.