A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Monday, 2 June 2014

The beginning of "Always and Forever"

My husband and I met in September 1982 when we were both frosh at Mount Allison University. We each had a boyfriend and a girlfriend, but we went to some semi-formal dances together - as "just friends." In our third year we dated, but broke up when Mike said that kissing me was "like kissing his sister"! Years later he explained that at the time he didn't understand how he could feel so close to someone - have them feel like family - but also to be attracted to them. His 20-something-year-old brain couldn't contend with those conflicting emotions. I remember at the time telling a friend that I believed we were meant for each other, and that we would get back together if we both ended up in the same place at the same time. Sure enough, when I got a job in Ottawa after graduating with my second degree, I called Mike and asked if he knew of a place to live, and as fate would have it, one of his roommates had just moved out. It was not long before we were more than "just roommates," and moved into our own apartment that summer, 24 years ago.

The charms on my "Always and Forever" bracelet tell the rest of the story. I love penguins (and polar bears and pandas), and when we first got together we often gave each other penguin figurines, tree ornaments, etc., so the two penguin charms represent the two of us. When I'm feeling insecure about myself, or our relationship, I hold onto these charms and remind myself, "I love him and he loves me." Two years later while we were at his family's cottage - our favourite place on earth - he took me to the end of the wharf, and he asked me to marry him, under a starry night sky. I have the "shooting star" spacer on another bracelet to remember that, as Pandora calls it, "unforgettable moment."

A kiss from the father-of-the-bride in the receiving line.
As I felt in university, I truly believe Mike is my "true love" - represented by the "true love" dangle. So I married the "love of my life" (represented by the heart clips) in 1994, and the colour and flower for our wedding were red roses - represented by the rose charms and red muranos. It was the best day of my life, and despite being in the throes of my eating disorder, I had never felt more attractive - beautiful, in fact! The coral "looking glass" muranos represent my hope, in my recovery from my eating disorder, to see in the mirror (aka the "looking glass") what I saw that day, and what Mike sees, every day, when he looks at me.

This is the first in a series of stories about the charms on my "Always and Forever" bracelet. Each charm represents an important reminder of what keeps us happy and keeps our marriage healthy. I'll call this series "Marriage Mondays" as it will be a countdown to our twentieth wedding anniversary at the end of July.

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