In honor of our third wedding anniversary, here is the story of us.
Standing on our high school sand pit ramp is where I first heard "Fritsche".
One of my fellow long jumpers was looking across football field telling everybody to watch Fritsche pole vault. I didn't know who she was talking about and I was thinking: What kind of name is Fritsche? (I later learned that his name was John but everybody called him by his last name.)
Soon after that we met. He walked up to me in the center of the field, said, "Hi" and walked away. This senior boy was tangled in nervousness and this sophomore girl was instantly smitten with him. Two weeks later; on May 1st 2007, after I got off the bus from JV Championships, he was waiting for me in his car in the school parking lot. I sat in his car with him as he began a conversation I'll never forget. He explained that he had signed up for the Marines about a year earlier and he was leaving for Basic Training in June, two months from then. He said he really liked me but couldn't ask me to wait for him. He made a five year commitment he couldn't break, legally. The thing is that I liked him too much to say goodbye and I told him that. So he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes. We became inseparable.
Early in June he graduated.
We spent every second of summer together falling in love until June 24th 2007.
The best and worst day came. The day we had to say, "I'll write you letters over the next three months and I'll be waiting to see you!" The day where this boy would step into a white van and begin becoming a man. The first day of the next five years.
He was on his way to becoming a Marine and I was waiting.
I checked the mail all the time waiting for his letters. Letters that were scribbled in the dark, written during his only "free" time at church, stained with dirt... every bit was more precious than gold.
Three months later I went down to San Diego with John's family to see him.
All of these young men marched towards their loved ones.
The sound of their feet hitting the ground together was loud and amazing.
My eyes scanned the group, looking...
...they stopped and there he was.
I was in awe of him.
We spent as much of September together as possible before Marine Combat Training.
I spent time with him in Newport Beach; where his parents had moved to over the summer.
He visited me in his old home town, Reno.
He went to MCT and then to Virginia for specialized schooling.
He finished school in 2008. He was based at Camp Pendleton, CA.
I finished my Junior year and came to visit that summer before he left for Iraq.
July 2008, he left for Iraq. During the first half of my senior year I spent my lunch break in the library reading and writing emails to John. Although I did participate in senior events and spend time with my friends, my world was bigger than those concrete walls. Part of my heart was on the other side of Earth.
Sometimes we were lucky enough to have a Skype date.
His Christmas was spent in Iraq but I made us a Christmas card.
It read: From Iraq and Reno
Late January 2009 he came back.
We got to spend Valentines Day together.
We went to Disneyland.
John asked me to marry him on May 23rd 2009.
I said YES!
Early June 2009, I graduated with a sparkly ring and the love of my life waiting for me.
July 2009, I moved down to Newport Beach to be with John after two years of spending so much time apart.
Part Two: Becoming One.
Labels: Family, Love