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Saturday, March 28, 2009

the first time

I remember when it finally happened. I guess the first time always sort of sticks with you, you know? You anticipate it, hope that it's deep, that there's some intangible, unbreakable connection, and that afterward, you both feel safe.


Protected.

Loved.

And you want it to be with someone special; heck, it should be with someone special. It's what you deserve, it's what he deserves.

The first time it happened for us was on our honeymoon. I guess after vowing before God and others to always love each other, always share a last name, always remember how the other likes their sandwich (Drew takes turkey, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sweet peppers, onions, and mayo lightly spread on a role...but I might be wrong about the onions...), it felt safe enough to try it.

So maybe I wasn't totally surprised when it happened. I mean, I wasn't born yesterday, as the saying goes; I knew something of marriage before I tried it out for myself. I knew the expectations, I knew the demand for closeness. For intimacy.

But still, it was Drew. Which is why, when we were ready to dog ear our respective books, turn off the lights, and call it a night, I was a little taken aback by his sudden move.

And no, I'm not talking about that kind of a move!

As if.

I am talking about the move he made to wipe away the quickly falling and silent tears rolling down his cheeks. It's happening, I thought. We're married now, husband and wife, and I can just feel us getting closer with every tear he is shedding in front of me, I marveled.

He's so beautifully vulnerable, so tender and trusting, I proudly thought of my husband--one who was so clearly unlike all those other husbands who have a hard time opening up. Cause the proof was in those tears he had now given himself over to completely. All in front of me, his safe wife, his best friend.

I moved to pull him closer to me and found that he didn't resist. I started to ask him what was wrong, all the while anticipating some sweet answer about how overwhelmed he was to be married to such a special person; how lucky he was to have found me and won me.

Or perhaps--even better!--God had done something deep in his heart; perhaps he was about to get all spiritual with me and together we would lay prostrate as we dedicate and consecrate and...well, any other word that ends in ate, but whatever would come of this spiritual awakening would be so good, I knew that.

Basically, I was ready.
This. Was. Big.

I comforted him and waited for him to tell me what was making him so upset. He cried and finally started saying something, but it sounded more like Chewbacca's dead than anything that really made sense to me, so knowing I had misheard him, I asked him to tell me again.

In a voice broken with tears and raw with emotion, he said, Chewbacca's dead.

Oh. So I didn't misunderstand.

I raised my eyebrows and asked in a voice that I hoped sounded serious, Like, Chewbacca from Star Wars, Drew?

Yes, he gravely confirmed. And then, motioning to the Star Wars book he was reading, he told me something about a planet that had to be blown up in a galaxy far far away and how Chewbacca martyred himself, effectively saving the lives of Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and the gang.

And of course, he was crying throughout.

I comforted him as best as I could, drawing from my own storied heartbreaks as I remembered when dear Matthew died in Anne of Green Gables, leaving Anne-with-an-'E' virtually friendless in the world; or in Angela's Ashes when Frank McCourt's baby brother and sister unfairly left this world way too soon. I mean sure, these were humans I was thinking about, but who am to judge? If the death of a fictitious, sacrificial alien was breaking Drew's heart, then I was grateful to be trusted with the information.

So no, it wasn't about me. Wasn't about God. But you know what? The first time Drew-As-My-Husband good and cried with me told me something about him; it gave me an even better glimpse into that good, kind, beating heart of his that had made me love him in the first place.

22 comments:

The DJF said...

This story made me smile so much. Thanks for sharing it! :-)

The DJF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peaj said...

You tread in dangerous territory, my friend. ;-)

I am so glad that your reaction was what it was instead of "this is what moves the guy I married?" Good for you.

Drew's a sweet guy.

merry said...

HAHA!

jason said...

That Drew can care so deeply about something that happened a long time ago in a place so far away really means he is so compassionate!

And I appreciate that he used Chewbacca's full name in this solemn moment, and didn't resort to calling him Chewie.

(Chewie's dead!? Oh those darn expanded universe novels!)

Jessica Latshaw said...

Oh yes--it wasn't the time or place for nicknames. "Chewie" would have been very inappropriate.

Jessica Latshaw said...

and yeah, thank God he didn't die in the movies!

beingawesome said...

I feel his pain.

I was in the same boat.

Jessica Latshaw said...

You feel Drew's pain because you read the book and cried over Chewbacca's death too?

OR

You feel Chewbacca's pain because you once martyred yourself and saved your friend's lives by being blown up along with a planet in a galaxy far far away?

Michele said...

Hi-lar-i-ous!!!!

kathiek said...

Well color me surprised! Great set up, Jess, totally unexpected punch line...I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, you've done this before, but I was totally drawn in...I should have known better! I am just too trusting, I guess! ;-] So funny!

Nina said...

Hey...there's nothing better than a book that can make you cry! Though I didn't know a Star Wars novel could pack that much punch...

Jessica Latshaw said...

Well I think Drew has always held Chewie in a pretty high regard...

peaj said...

That martyring-yourself-to-save-your-friends-by-being-blown-up-with-a-planet stuff hurts like a son of a gun.

And it leaves a mark. And it hurts for days.

Jessica Latshaw said...

So THAT'S what your latest malady was all about?

Why didn't you just say so?!

beingawesome said...

I am a sap... especially when it comes to Star Wars ... characters and the real life actors. When Sir Alec Guinness died, I literally wore all black for a week and was completely inconsolable for an entire 24 hour period.

I sometimes question why these things are this big of a deal to me.

I have yet to come up with a reasonable and justifiable answer.

yeah

Jessica Latshaw said...

I think that sadness and grief are a part of life. Most of the times we do our best to ignore it, but when you can wear some black and acknowledge the sadness of somebody leaving this earth, it might not be such a bad thing.

Mom said...

Oh, I just laughed and laughed at this.

I remember when a close relative--not to be named--cried because the Spiderman movie had depicted Spiderman so well.

And I remember you crying when Fern's dog died in a book you were reading in the car. I thought something terrible had happened to you. Remember, I only cry at real life. It's hard for me to understand crying at fictitious animals & creatures. But, as Pop says, artists do life much better that real life does.

Pop said...

What a set-up, Jess. I thought, wow, she is becoming so transparent, what a courageous blogger! Continue to love your writing. Waiting for the book...

Pop said...

What a set-up, Jess. I thought, wow, she is becoming so transparent, what a courageous blogger! Continue to love your writing. Waiting for the book...

Tiffany said...

wait... CHEWIE DIES?!?!?!?!?!


....well, that ruins a movie for me. ;-)

Jessica Latshaw said...

Oh no-I was referring to one of the many star wars books, not the movie so no spoiler there! :)