Today is my 29th wedding anniversary. This morning on my way to work I was trying to remember how I felt on that day 29 years ago. It's funny but I don't remember any overwhelming feelings of love or passion. My friend took the kids the night before and we got up in the morning and got dressed and headed out with our witnesses to the office of the marriage registrar in New Westminster and were married in about 5 minutes flat. We then went to the beach for the day just across the border in the US and bought some bottles of cheap wine.....way too much cheap wine. I remember waking up pretty hung over the next day and don't exactly remember coming home the night before. Then we picked up the kids and life went on just as it had in the weeks and months before, the only difference was we were legal.
It's strange to think I also brought Hep C along with 2 kids into the marriage. For 13 years I didn't know it but it was there lurking and waiting and quietly doing it's damage, sapping my energy and making me a different person than I would be today if it hadn't come along for the ride.
What did Al bring to the marriage? Well he was 22 years old and had just been released from a federal prison. We met in a bar just down the street from his half-way house 5 months before we got married. He says now that he doesn't think he ever loved me and we probably wouldn't have got married if I hadn't had the kids already. His parents died in a car accident that he and his sister were also hurt in, on their way to Disneyland when he was 9 years old. They got hit by a drunk driver. He layed in emergency with broken arms and legs and watched them pronounce them dead. He lived with older brothers that didn't really want him until he became a runaway at 16. He got into trouble after trouble until he turned 19 and then he robbed a bank and got sent away to a federal prison. I met him when he was on his way out. We were both so young and so fucked up. Both of us from bad places before we met each other. He says that he thinks I was a mother figure to him and that he desperately wanted a built in family so he married me.
I really don't think when he says these things he realizes or intentionally sets out to hurt me the way he does, I think he is not thinking about me at all, just the pain he finds himself in. 29 years. Gone and wasted. We do have a wonderful son from the union. He did help me raise the boys. I've grown and learned. Maybe we both served a purpose in each others lives. I don't know. I do know that I never would have left him or the marriage. Not because I loved him too much but because I never could have hurt him that way. So what does that say. Did I love him or was I wanting to fix him and give him a stable life with a family? I don't know anymore. Maybe some day it will all be clear to me what my feelings and motivations were. I thought I loved him and I thought he loved me.