Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So...picking up where I left off....
I knew I would marry this wonderfully amazing man...and in the year that followed, I received 25 letters from him. At that time, there was no e mail, or texting in the Navy. I was a single mom of this beautiful little girl, and I was having a rough time in my life. He was getting me through some of my toughest struggles. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that we would marry someday, in the future, and had talked about it alot. The thing was that God had a different plan for us.
When my baby girl was a year old, Dennis brought me, my baby girl, and his mom out to WA state where he was stationed. That is where the real story begins.
I was so nervous. I wasn't just nervous, I was scared. I had just turned 22, and wasn't sure where my life was going. I had signed up to go to nursing school, had been accepted, and finally had an idea that my life was going to head down that path.
Needless to say, on the second to last day there, we went to a place called Bouchard Gardens in Victoria, Canada.
To say that this place was beautiful is a COMPLETE understatement (I will post pics). It set the mood for romance, and love and I felt whole for the first time in a really long time.

We came back from that trip, we talked, we laughed, and this is where our life began...along with another little life much to my surprise not too long after LOL
I found out I was pregnant.

I didn't tell him right away. I left and went to NC with my very good friend, Betsy, to visit her family (anyone remember the Wheatley's?) And there, I had to decide my lifes choice.
I had to let Dennis decide with me..
THAT conversation went something like this...
Hey baby, how are you?
Long day he says...worked 18 hours. On a good note, went and found a truck, and I am getting out and coming home...
*cue the drop of the heart into the stomach on my part*
I said, are you sitting down?
He says...yeah....
I said I am pregnant.
His response?
Well, the pregnancy test says otherwise..

It wasn't what we planned, it wasn't what we expected, but here was this life altering decision to be made, and it had to be made soon.
I asked him if he was ok...of course he wasn't.....and neither was I.
I gave him three days to think about what he wanted to do. I told him to call me back and we would talk some more.

My beautiful husband didn't wait three days...he didn't even wait three HOURS....
He called me back...and this is what followed...

I have loved you for as long as I can remember. I always knew that I would marry you (and so did many other people although we laughed it off at the time) so, let's do this. Let's get married....
Nerves, excitement, fear, happiness, love...all of those emotions at once is a LOT for a girl to handle....but three weeks later, we were married. In front of our family, and our friends.
The day we got married, his brother graduated from high school. His family went to the graduation, and instead of a party for his brother afterwards, we were married in a little restaraunt on Lakeshore drive...
Our daughter was my miniature bride. All of our little cousins wore Navy style dresses and outfits...
I was SO nervous...we sat in the limo, me and my bridesmaids (my sister and sister in law) and I was SO nervous that I told the limo driver to just go around the block...
I kept saying to Bethany...I can't believe I am marrying your brother! I can't believe that I am marrying Dennis Parker!! LOL
Needless to say, no wedding goes off without some sort of hitch...and the music started for my bridesmaids and I to walk down the aisle....but WE WEREN'T there!!! Because my nerves got the best of me!!!.
His dad leaned over and told him he was off the hook! LOL

We got back, and everything went nerves were shot, my best friend and father walked me down the aisle in the beautiful wedding gown that my mother had found for me before I ever got back from NC and my dad leans over and whispers this term of endearment in my ear...."just remember, pink elephants!"

Our wedding was put together in THREE weeks time.
We said our vows, we were introduced as husband and wife, and that was the story of our beginning.....
That night, I sang Where've you Been? by Kathy Mattea to him....see previous I sat on his lap. I could not look my husband in the eye because I knew if I did, I would surely burst into tears, and that is not what I wanted to do. I wanted him to know how very very much I loved him....and apparently, everyone else knew it too because there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
We all danced, and we all laughed, and ate, and a beautiful beginning was had that night.

When we left our wedding, we went to our hotel room. I removed the 128 bobby pins from my hair...looking like a wild woman...LOL And he removed the 32 pins that were down my back because even though I had been fitted just a week before for the dress, my nerves had gotten the best of me, and I had lost MORE weight before my wedding day....and we didn't have your typical "wedding night". We were EXHAUSTED.....

And I need to back track a minute because there is something that I did not add here...
Dennis was still stationed in WA state....he flew in the day before our wedding.
I went to the airport to get him, and as I am standing there, looking for this man and not finding him very heart started to pound. I thought for sure he had changed his mind...that somehow he suddenly didn't want me like that anymore....
And then a perfect stranger walked up and handed me a rose...
And then another stranger with another rose....until I finally had six people hand me roses, and there was my soon to be husband.....
He slipped my engagement ring on my hand...and my heart was filled with so much love and happiness...

Going back to the wedding night....we fell asleep next to each other....what we would do for years to come, God willing he wasn't pulled out on deployment....
The next morning, we went to my mom and dad's house to have breakfast, and although it was a happy was sad too.

I had lived in Upstate NY my entire life. I had never left, other than to go to CT to visit family, and that had been when I was younger...

I was no longer just Hootie's mommy, I was now Dennis's wife...and he was now my husband and Hootie's daddy....(he gave her the most beautiful necklace on our wedding day....a heart with an angel on it engraved with the angeline love, daddy. And we still have it )

And in being Dennis's wife, I had an even bigger responsibility than I could ever had imagined.
I didn't just marry Dennis Parker, I had married the United States Navy.

We were home in NY for about two more weeks after that....and as the day of leaving approached, the sadness grew...
The night before we left, it was a night filled with tears and sadness.
I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life. Not just a few little tears. This was my daddy crying because his first born daughter was leaving. Not just to move down the road, but to move THREE THOUSAND miles away.
We weren't old pros at goodbye. My family is where I began....and now I had a new life, and a new family to begin with all over again. Tears flowed, memories were talked about, we laughed...and everyone tried to avoid what we knew was coming the next morning.

The day we left. It was the hardest day of my life.
Angeline did NOT understand what was going on. I don't even think that I fully understood it. I know I didn't. These people that loved me, through thick and thin, better and worse, sickness and health, took care of me and rallied around me when no one else would.......they wouldn't be there every day like that had been for 22 years. THAT scared the HELL out of me.

We left. We said our goodbyes, and halfway up the road, we realized that Angeline had forgotten "B"...her blanket that she had with her at all times since birth....She was SO quiet..SO confused...and even at one and a half, sad. We turned right around and went back and got it.
My mom came out holding it, brother couldn't even come out to say good bye. He stayed in his room...He is the one that nicknamed her hootie after all.
My sister had left, and my dad was very very quiet.

Having to leave a SECOND time, I can't say that it was any easier..

We drove that LONG drive back to WA state...HOURS in the car. Morning sickness hitting me left and right, and I was thirsty, then I had to pee because when I was thirsty I wanted that big gulp. Dennis and I had our first arguement in the car....LOL
We got to WA state, and we lived in an apartment with another couple. They had their side, we had ours. It wasn't long though before we had our own place....
A three bedroom apartment. On the very top. With no friends, and no family. It was a very very lonely place to be.
Dennis and I, we loved each other, but we didn't have your typical courtship...we were a ready made family, and in January of that year, we welcomed our little Stinkerbelle...
There were no grandparents, aunts or uncles there, just Dennis, angeline, myself and our new baby girl...we announced her arrival through long distant phone calls, and after hanging up, a lot of tears followed.

We brought our baby girl home....22 year old parents, and a newborn and her 3 year old sister...
I was SO sad.
I wanted my mom.
I wanted my dad.
I wanted my sister.
I wanted my brother.
I wanted my grandpa, and my aunt and cousins.....
But I had to pull up my big girl panties, and I had to make the best out of what we had.

My new in laws came to visit the week after danielle was born. My father in law (who I am now very close to) brought me a beautiful necklace with a heart shaped locket on it ....I still have that too.
When they left, I cried for a week straight.
My sister, and mom and brother came when she was about a month old..I hadn't seen them since July...and it was January. It was the longest I had gone without seeing my family.
It was whirlwind. The time flew with both visits, and I didn't want them to go. I wanted to tear up their plane and train tickets and just keep them there with me....but they had their own lives to get back to, and I had mine.

When everyone had come and gone, Dennis's ship had decided to be moved about two hours away from where we lived. Which meant that Dennis was only home from Friday night until Sunday morning....I was on my own.

Then, one day, I get this knock on the door.
The woman that lived three floors below me had come, thinking that she had gotten some of my mail. She introduced herself to me, stacey Deyo. Congratulated me on the baby, and told me if I needed anything, anything at all, she was right there.

I just want the whole world to know that THAT woman....SHE was my saving grace 13 years ago. If it were not for her, I would have lost my mind. She was the first Navy wife I had ever met, and we were inseperable from there on out....I found out later that the supposed piece of mail that she thought was mine....yes, it was actually hers!! LOL
We did everything together....talked, laughed, drank, hung out with the kids, ate dinners together...we were the best of friends....and to this day, I still have her in my life. Not the way that I would like...she is in Michigan, and I am here, but I love her as much as I did back then, and I am forever indebted to her for saving me the way she did....and I hope she knows that.

We moved from WA state about nine months after moving TO WA state.
This time, it was a journey to Fallon, NV.....
And that, my dear friends, is where another story begins....
But, before I end this one....I want to say something.

I never knew what it was like to be on my own. I have a family that loves me, supports me, guides me, and makes me believe in myself, even when I don't. We have our ups and downs, our ins and outs, but they are there when it counts, and that is all that matters.
I have had it said to me more than once in the past 13 years that I knew what I was getting into when I married Dennis...with him being in the military.
I had NO IDEA.
My husband is a good man. He believes in what he does for our country. And our lives together have been altered because of this life that we lead, more than an average marriage would.
We are STRONGER. We are BETTER. Our LOVE is unbreakable.
Our FAMILY is our everything....and we believe that everything that we have done, everything that we are doing is for the good of our family....
People out there that don't support the military families, or even people that DO and just don't get what we go through, they are the reasons that I am sharing this.
I want people to know what this life is like. What they have to be thankful for...and even though they may not believe in what is happening, our husbands, wives, children and loved ones...they are the ones caught in the crossfires of one man's decision (the President) because they believed in a higher purpose....
I am PROUD to be a Miltary Wife. I am PROUD of my United States Chief. I am PROUD to know not just people in the USN, but all of the other branches of our military as well....
And, I am comforted in the fact that I know, as I tell these stories for my own personal reason, that I am not alone....and that I never really was.


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  2. Aww. That is such a sweet story!!! Love the pics too!