Songs in the Dark

It had been a rough day. Gwen had woken tired and cranky, and as the day went on it had become a fragile brittleness, leaving her prone to spells of anger and tears. She needed sleep, and I had my own reasons to be short. It all culminated in a game becoming a level of competitive that was more angry then fun, and then tears and rage.

As I put her to bed that night, I held her close and sang the song that I used to sing to her every night as a baby. The dam broke and her tears rushed forward, great heaving sobs that shook her body and drenched her face. She cried because she didn't know why she was so angry, because she was sad for the way she acted and the things she said.

As the tears dried up, she asked me to sing the song one more time. I did, rubbing her back. It was then I noticed how big my hand looked on her back in that moment. She is larger then life sometimes, with her hair all the way down her back, her personality for ages, and a smile that lights up the room. She is gaining freedoms each day, proving her responsibility. Its easy to forget how small she still is.

She slept a long time that night, and the next day was a new day, with easier emotions. But we learn the most sometimes not during the anger, in the stillness after the storm. Singing our songs into the dark.



11 - 17

17 years (and 1 day) ago, I walked into a fraternity party.

I had absolutely no expectations for that night other then drinking some drinks, meeting some new people, and cutting loose for the night. College until that night had been a mixed bag. I had made a few good friends (some of which are still friends to this day), but overall I felt lonely. I missed my crew from back home, and didn't feel like I'd really found my people yet. That night I stumbled across a boy. We ended up playing on the same team for a drinking game, and hanging out for the rest of the night. As I left to head back to my dorm, way later then I intended, he very forwardly kissed me goodnight and told me to "come back tomorrow." I did, and I basically never left.

I found my people in that fraternity house. Friends that grew to be family, people I still love and cherish to this day. Psi Upsilon was my home for my 4 years at Lehigh. The place that I could always find someone to talk to, full of people who understood me and accepted me. That boy was Travis, we were together, a couple from that very next day on. By 6 months in, I was completely head over heels in love and knew that I would marry him.

The following year he pinned me, a tradition that made me an official part of the Psi U family, allowing me to wear the letters and proclaiming that he intended this relationship to be something permanent. After he graduated, 2 years before me, we started a semi-long distance relationship; him working full-time 1.5 hours away. Weeks were spent apart, talking on the phone at night, but up he would come on weekends, squeezing everything we could into those 48 hours. It wasn't always easy, but we made it work.

After I graduated it felt like our life together really started. We moved in to an apartment with a college friend, and 7 months later he proposed! The following year we bought our house, the one we still own, the one we made into a home. We worked real jobs and adjusted to life away from college. It wasn't easy to replace classes and homework with day jobs and bills, but we made that transition together.

11 years ago today, a year after buying our house, at just 24 and 26 years of age (babies!) we got married. It was a perfect autumn day, cool and crispy, but sunny. I woke up that morning, squeezed between my Babs and my Hoser, feeling nervous and excited and like I couldn't believe the day was here. Six years had passed, which felt like a lifetime at the time. We had no idea what was in store for us!

Eleven years. Three pregnancies, one miscarriage, one surrogacy, one amazing child. Thousands of working hours, endless days of trying to find a healthy balance. Countless trips. Fights and makeups, discussions and quiet expressions beyond words. A cross-country move, career changes. So many changes. Love. Love, love, love. And growth.

Marriage is hard, life is confusing, but Travis has been my constant.

The past two years it feels like everything has changed. But what hasn't changed is how much I love my husband, how grateful I am to have him by my side.

I don't know what the future holds, what other changes are in store for us, but I know that I'm grateful you are the one with whom I get to tackle them! Happy Anniversary!