Day Nineteen: A picture of a letter...
I took the liberty of assuming this did not mean A, B, or C but an actual letter...and I have one. How impressive is that? It is. A real live letter written on June 18, 1999. This letter is the biggest reason I married July 15, 2000 - right at one year later.
Jerry and I met in college and we were only friends at first, probably not even friends, more like acquaintances. But, once I met him and saw that smile, I was hooked. Jerry was everything I wasn't - laid back, easy going, calm, and he liked to just have fun. I was already approaching uptight stick in mud adulthood when we met. But the most charming thing about him, is even with all the devil-may-care persona, he was working to get into the Air Force and had goals, ambitions. Yep - I fell head over heels in love.
But, we were only 20 years old (well, I was 20, he was 19 - as he often points out) and doing a long-distance relationship wasn't really feasible. We dated for about six weeks and he headed to Georgia where his fathered was stationed, I stayed in Texas and went on the college. We kept in touch, visited twice that summer (Paige - if you're reading this, I'm sure you remember the margarita incident), but eventually the distance and our age got the better of us both. He and I dated other people and at that time, it was the right thing to do. Neither of us were settled into careers, nor did either of us have our future completely under control. Oh, we talked about me moving to Georgia and going to college there, getting an apartment, all the relationship stuff, but decided better of it. Looking back, it was the best decision.
He joined the Army and went off to basic training. I graduated college and was temping for Kelly Staffing over the summer trying to find a full-time teaching job. I didn't even want to leave Austin at the time, much less the state of Texas (us Texans are a bit proud). We hadn't spoken in probably two years. He had tried to call me once from San Antonio during basic, but the timing was wrong and we didn't talk much.
I remember clearly the conversation that started the idea that started the letter. I was riding with my mom and we were talking about my recent "singledom". No one fit right, no spark, no fire. My mom said, "Even Jerry?" and I told her, "No - Jerry fits me, but I haven't seen him in years." I then spent an afternoon with my friend Kellie and her daughter Kasey at the park, and we watched a couple that looked so in love. I told Kellie, "People used to ask Jerry and me if we were married?" Little did I know, Jerry had told his sister that if he ever did get married, it would be to me. Our minds were tracking and clearly our hearts were tracking, we just weren't tracking each other.
So, with great trepidation I sat down and wrote a very long letter to Jerry McGowan. An actual pen to the paper tell him everything I wanted to say letter. I had to call his mother to get his address, I signed, sealed, and stamped the letter and it went off to Ft. Stewart, GA with my heart. As you may well know, the rest is history...
This letter was lost for quite some time. Jerry had kept it for years, but with new duty stations and new houses, we hadn't seen it in awhile. Last week he was cleaning out his hockey bag from his playing days and there it was, stuffed down in a pocket of the CCM bag. He sent me a picture of it saying, "Look what I found!" Reading it now it's a wonder he ever called me upon receipt. It's so silly and girly, two things I often am not. But, it was enough for him to come for a visit that October, we engaged in December, and married in July of 2000. This year makes eleven years of marital bliss - all because of one long letter.