This morning I am home with sick children...attempting to *not* have a mental breakdown. Maybe, hopefully, I can escape for a few minutes to long, long ago....
Jason and I started dating in October, 1991. I was a senior in college, he was a freshman. There were certain people at said college who intensely disliked the fact that we were dating. They saw fit to take it upon themselves to call my parents and present their concerns to my parents. My parents then tried to get me to stop dating Jason. BAD MOVE.
By this point, I had been out of the house for 5 years. I was working for an attorney, renting an apartment with a friend, and finishing up my last few classes in college. I had a cute little car...my first...a 1976 forest green Chevy Nova, with a hole in the back left fender. I was taking care of myself, paying my bills, going to church, making all of my own decisions.
I did NOT take kindly to my parents' strong suggestions that I quit dating Jason. If anything, it made more determined than ever.
In December, I flew to Nebraska to be Maid of Honor for a friend's wedding. My flight back out of Nebraska was delayed for 4 hours, because of snow, causing me to miss my connecting flight in St. Louis, MO. I had no money, and no credit card. I went to the desk, and cried, and then they put us up in a motel overnight...with no food. It was exciting, but also a little scary. I was in a city I had never been to before, and knew no one there, and was stuck in a motel with no food, no money, and no way of getting either.
Jason met me at the airport the next day when I got back...he was *such* a love-struck little puppy back then!! He was still living at home with his parents, and had spent the night before recording songs onto a tape for me, with commentary between songs by him. I wore that tape out!!
On February 1st, I had to work (it was a Saturday), getting some work done for one of the attorneys, so Jason went in to work with me. While I was working, he went and picked up lunch from Chick-fil-A, where he was working. After I finished, we went to the park for a picnic...complete with a blanket spread out in the sun....this was February, in South Carolina...warmish, but not toasty yet. I started pulling out the little boxes that CFA uses to pack their foods, and one had something extra in it....a RING BOX!! Right there, in the middle of the "Water" Park, in Columbia, SC, Jason knelt in front of me, and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!!
Jason's parents were thrilled. They were (still are) the best people...they took me right in.... Actually, when we started dating, the first time Jason took me home to meet his parents, his dad grilled me....the Marine asking some really tough questions of the almost-graduated-Bible-College-student...he intimidated me! Now I know that he's just a big ol' teddy bear, but I was NOT used to military people back then! After Jason and I left, his parents and sister had a conference in the kitchen... Jason's mom "knew" then that we would marry....
My parents....well, lets just say they were less than happy. I still look back at that time and get that horrible feeling in my stomach. It was TOUGH telling my parents. Jason HAD actually called and talked to my dad prior to asking me, but that didn't make it any easier for me to talk to them.
We did not set a wedding date yet. We were concentrating on my finishing school, and Jason was trying to get into the Marine Corps.
Jason had been in the delayed entry program in high school, but had injured his knee, and had surgery to repair it. He did great on the ASVAB test, and actually did good on his run, push-ups, etc....but the doctor who looked at his knee said that he needed to have surgery on it, again, before they would let him in.
He went back to the doctor who originally did the surgery to get his opinion. That doctor said that another round of surgery would not make that much difference in the range of motion of his knee, and that he couldn't justify doing the surgery. Appeals were made...WAY up the line. Letters to Strom Thurmond, even...but no success. Eventually, the final answer came back..."your knee would be fine through boot camp, but would fail soon afterwards, in training, and then the Corps would be responsible. We cannot assume that responsibility."
Now, we can look back and see God's hand in this...at that point, though, it was the death of a VERY cherished dream. We mourned that for a long time.
I finished with school in May, 1992, and went looking for another job sometime that summer. I worked temporary jobs for a while.
In August, I found out I was pregnant.
Stop the world. I want to get off. NOW.
Remember how hard it was for me to tell my parents that we were engaged? I KNEW this would be infinitely harder.