Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Years Eve To Remember

Let me take you back to a time in my life when things were simple. I was young, healthy, unencumbered with true adult responsibilities and newly in love. It was the dawn of the new millennium and life was exciting and full of delicious promise and undiscovered purpose. It was New Years Eve 1999. The question looming on everyone's mind concerned computer algorithms and whether or not our world was going to come crashing in on us as Y2K flipped us into a new century. A century the computer programmers of the world apparently never thought would come. I had graduated from college that May and the month before started up a romance with a man I had been friends with for 2 years. A man I left behind when I moved from my college town back to Los Angeles after graduation. We quickly fell deeply and passionately in love over long nightly phone conversations and monthly weekend visits. Long distance will either make or break a relationship quite quickly, and this was one it anchored. Going against all common sense, he quit his job, gave away his earthly belongings and flew to town, moving in with me the day before Thanksgiving. He quickly found a job and we settled into domestication in our 350 square foot studio apartment. His Catholic family was none to thrilled that we were "living in sin" and his mother sent him her engagement ring and started hounding him about marriage...

Deciding to brave the chance of Y2K's worst case scenario, we ventured into Hollywood with a couple of friends to The House Of Blues to see "The Reverend" Al Green. I have never in my life had an easier time making my way down the Sunset strip. It was empty, desolate. Only a few brave souls dared to leave the comfort of their homes and chance getting stuck in a potential disaster of epic proportions. It seems so silly now but was a really big deal then! The show was amazing and about a quarter to midnight we found ourselves on the patio, smoking our cigarettes, more than a little buzzed. I was trying to convince my boyfriend we should go to Las Vegas on Tuesday, a day we both had off, to get married. I was silly like that. He said we could not get married, he did not have any money. I then said the words that have stuck by me every day since... "Honey, I don't need money, we can make money, I need you! I love you!". He then suddenly got serious and looked deeply into my eyes, saying "I don't want to leave 1999 with you just being my girlfriend. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" As I sat straddling him, face to face, Al Green belting out Love & Happiness, seconds until the dawn of the new millennium, I started shaking my head back and forth and said "Nothing would make me happier!" Well I guess I gave the poor guy a heart attack from the pause between the head shaking and my words of acceptance! He thought the answer was no!

We celebrate the 12th anniversary of this spontaneous proposal tonight. Over the years New Years Eve has turned into more of an anniversary celebration than a new years party for us. I always found it quite overrated, personally, and can't imagine a new years that could ever top that one. But I love this memory. The poor guy did not have the opportunity to plan some special engagement scenario, he did not even have the ring with him! It is a marvelous example of the type of people we are, how we have lived our lives. Impulsive, passionate, never half-way doing anything, giving whatever is in front of us our all. Grabbing what we want in life and making it happen. It is sheer luck, intuition, instinct, God, something, all of it, that I married a man of such integrity and character. I was a 23 year-old girl playing house, with no true idea of how hard life was going to get. He has stuck by my side through thick and thin. He has sacrificed many years and opportunities in his own personal life to do this, and has never wavered in his commitment to me. Yes he is a handful (could you imagine me with a husband that wasn't?), quite intense and emotional, often to the point of maddening. Yet he is my rock, my anchor, my strength. I am who I am today because I have had him to lean on during times of stress and devastation. He has held me up when I could not do it for myself. He has laid me down when I was too crazy to allow myself to rest, but most of all he has loved me for me for all these years. I think that puts him up for sainthood! 

Thanks for joining,

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  1. Leah, I love your story. You truly have a remarkable husband. Sadly that is the one thing I miss dearly, SOMEONE to have shared my life with.

  2. Yeah I still wonder how I got so lucky! He is just as nuts as I am so I guess birds of a feather... LOL

  3. Another great blog today, Leah!

    I can't wait to share your story with Al :) I keep telling him he doesn't know what he's getting into with me & all my medical issues. And, he keeps reminding me that he knows about my issues...knows what the future holds...and wouldn't have it any other way! He always tells me I'm beautiful inside & out...that he loves everything about me...the good, the bad & the darn right goofy...LOL! He often calls me a "silly goose", which I'd never heard a grown man say before, but I think it's cute...especially the way he touches my cheek when he says it :)

    I ended an 8yr relationship earlier this year...mostly because of how my life was affecting my Ex's life. He felt trapped, smothered & frustrated that we could seldom go anywhere "fun" together because of my health. I understood it all, because I felt the same way.

    Sometimes I'm scared that this is how things will end up with Al. But, for now all I can do is hold onto his promises of love & commitment...pray that our feelings for each other are strong enough to get through whatever the future has in store for us. I love Al more than anything & he's made it pretty clear how he feels. So, tonight, we toast to the beginning of the New Year...our first New Year's together and I can't wait!

    Happy Engagement Anniversary you two! BTW...when is your actual Wedding Anniversary??? Just curious :)