When we finally got to our Jamaican honeymoon suite I laid down on the bed exhausted. And slightly disappointed. Where were the plush mattresses and amazing outdoor patio sets that Sandals promised in their brochures?

Never saw this.

Mark, however, got busy unpacking. Unpacking in a way I have never done on vacations. Where I had planned on living out of my suitcase for the week, Mark was hanging things up in closets and folding clothes to put in drawers. Really? It had never ever occurred to me to actually use the closet or the drawers at any hotel I had ever stayed at.


Not wanting to look like a weirdo on our honeymoon I quickly joined him. I started folding things and hanging things. This must be how white people vacation, I mumbled to myself.

As we set up our nest, Mark paused, looked at me and said, “This feels like deja vu, I feel like I’ve done this before… And I’m scared.”

He had done this before. He had had a wedding. He had exchanged vows. He had eaten wedding cake. He had unpacked in a honeymoon suite with his new bride.  He had done all of this many years before. And all of this had ended pretty horribly.

A part of my heart immediately became afraid. He was thinking about her? About them? On our honeymoon? I’d be lying if the question “What have I done?” didn’t creep into my head.

“This just feels so familiar,” he continued, “and I feel like I’m bracing myself for something bad to happen.”

I knew exactly what he was feeling. I had a bad accident on Una-Antioch Pike a few years ago and I can’t drive through that intersection without flinching even a little bit. Lots of bad memories and a scar on my hand remind me that this intersection is not safe.

Mark’s heart and soul took a pretty bad beating at the end of his first marriage and it would be stupid for either of us to think the first few years of our own marriage wouldn’t induce some flinching.

“It’s ok to be afraid,” I reassured him, “It’s just where you are right now.”

I guess that was a perk to being married to someone who was a newly graduated Master of Marriage and Family Therapy. My validation skills were on point.

I knew that eventually we’d move past the flinching stage. That soon the rest of our memories would belong only to us.

Last night we celebrated our 2nd anniversary with dinner and watched a video that we made on our 1st anniversary (we looked at our wedding cake and discussed how we might die if we tried to eat it, talked about McDonald’s, snuggies and our cats, and the best part was a fun fight about whether or not I’d still be “in love with Obama” next year… for the record, I am).

And nobody flinched.

11 thoughts on “Goodbye

  1. Connie says:

    You have a way of making me laugh till I cry or just cry and cry, I love you so much. I hope you two had a great day and have many more years to reflect on life together without flinching.
    Sorry I missed you special day and pray it was truly special.

    I love you, too and thank you 🙂 You’ll be here on our next one, though!

  2. Susan says:

    Sweet! And Happy Anniversary to two of my favorite people!

    Thank you!

  3. Dorie Morgan says:

    Happy Anniversary!

    Thank you!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Okay, Ryan totally does that too. He thought it was odd that I DON’T unpack everything. I’ve since learned by unpacking that it helps you feel more at home and less stressed about trips, so I’ve been unpacking for a couple months now. Anyway 🙂

    Happy Anniversary! I love you two as a couple just through your stories, and can’t wait to hear more.

    You know I had never thought about it feeling more like home that way, but you’re absolutely right. It was a lot nicer than digging through a suitcase everyday… interesting 🙂

    And thank you!

  5. Secret Agent "CT" says:

    I’ve never unpacked my stuff out of my suitcase. I’m surprised to hear that so many people do that! It makes perfect sense to unpack though…Interesting.

    I LOVE the picture of you and Mark at your wedding. It’s such a great shot!! You look soo pretty!!!

    Happy Anniversary!! Here’s to many, many more!!

  6. Liza says:

    It was a little weird reading this cause I felt like I was reading something that I could have written (if I blogged).

    I also had that moment where Johnny was unpacking AND I had the same thought! “Do ALL white people vacation like this?” Like you, I quickly unpacked too!

    AND….I’m not done yet!

    I am “wife #2” as well. Our first year of marriage was filled with flinching moments. I kept wondering if it would get better. I even went as far as to wonder if maybe we hadn’t made a mistake :(. I am happy to say that things got better…so MUCH better.

    I am happy that Mark found his “rib”. 🙂

    Once again, Happy Anniversary to the both of you.

  7. Elisa says:

    I’m always scared to unpack and put stuff away because I’m a basket case that would leave an entire drawer of clothes when I left cause I forgot to repack them after I unpacked. And it would probably be my favorite sweater in the world or something like that that would take months to replace because no other sweater would look quite the same.

    In other news…Happy Anniversary! A few days late. 🙂

  8. […] into Mark’s arms this morning mourning the loss of so many things. My intact nether regions, french fries, my pre-baby body, and potentially my […]

  9. […] didn’t write an anniversary post last year. But I had a pretty decent excuse, I think. There was this little guy that moved in […]

  10. […] I have no clue. Because I’m a woman and I can’t just let things go? No matter the reason, my insecurities about his first marriage colored all of our dating life and even a little of our marriage. […]

  11. […] Two. Three. And then I quit writing anniversary posts because […]

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