The Ides of March-ing down the aisle

I’ll bet you are wondering why the short blonde has decided to blog about the Ides of March when Easter is so close upon us. Shouldn’t I be talking about bunnies, eggs, crosses and resurrections? Well, this is a sort of resurrection story.  So, why choose now to talk about such an unimportant date as March 15? Glad you asked! Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee and let’s talk about my Ides of March.

You might remember the Ides of March from history as the day Julius Caesar was murdered. His famous last words were, “Et tu, Brute?”

My Ides of March are not as foreboding. It was on a particular March 15 that I found myself asking, “Et tu, Cupid?” Many by now know the story of my “happily ever after knight in shining armor” experience.

In second grade I met a guy. He had cooties. I did not like him. We grew older, and moved on to junior high, riding the big yellow school bus together. Through elementary school I managed not to contract any cooties from him. Over one summer it seemed he had been cured of the dreaded parasite, and we became good friends—buddies. We continued through junior high and senior high school, simply as buddies. There was no attraction past that. For all I knew, he might still have had remnants of that dreaded cootie disease. I had moved on, though. My attention was drawn to other guys, school, chorus, working in church-related matters and events . . . Every now and again we’d run into each other when all the churches in our area would hold a youth rally. I still considered him uninteresting, at the least.

High school graduation came and went. Our paths diverged, and we lost all contact with each other. Oddly, throughout the years I often thought of what might have happened to my buddy. On rare occasion we’d catch sight of one another at a large event, but just never quite made it to each other for that long overdue hug and “How are you doing?” thing.

For 39 years our lives wandered far apart from each other. Not a word between us, no contact whatsoever. Then, one day in March 2008, from out of the blue came a message on a social network site. The sender had a screen name that was totally unfamiliar to me. His message was poetic. “On my way home from work today I began to ponder on the importance of the moment, blah blah blah . . . Please tell me your thoughts?” Being a very shallow Halley, I immediately went for the photos of this person.  Right then I had a major forever life-changing OMG sort of moment. There on the screen was my buddy! After 39 years he had found me, but he obviously did not know me from Adam’s house cat. Because of my screen name, he didn’t know it was me! (Okay, so maybe we changed a bit over 39 years). I responded, “Well, your message takes me back to a big yellow school bus I used to ride with a wonderful guy. Do you know him?” Then I signed off with my real name. When he read it and recognized the sender, suffice it to say he was as shocked as I had been. That was a Thursday night. We were on the phone for about three hours, trying desperately to catch up on the past 39 years. It wasn’t possible, so we spent four hours on Friday night in an attempt to catch up even more. That was March 14.

The next day was Saturday, March 15, a/k/a the Ides of March. Fifty years after we met, we had our first date. The rest, my dear ones, is ongoing history. For many years I was buried in the depths of a marriage filled with emotional and verbal abuse, culminating in physical violence. For a great portion of my adult life I was convinced it was not my destiny to ever be in a healthy, happy relationship. I could not imagine being married to someone who could love me, the real me, just like I was. All that changed on the Ides of March. You see, today I am the very happy wife of that guy, and he is no longer a carrier of cooties. He is still my buddy, but now is also my best friend, my husband, the answer to my prayers and the love of my life. Every day I am blessed with respect, dignity, laughter, his support in and of my work as an advocate for victims and survivors of abuse, along with an enormous amount of unconditional love.

The Ides of March? Well, it didn’t go so well for Caesar, but I can attest to the fact it was an day of extreme joy, and will forever be a source of priceless memories for one certain blonde!

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