Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Brave New World, Part 4 (finale)

I hadn't intended to write all this about my life when I began this 'Brave New World' topic a few nights ago. It just sort of happened. This is part 4 of what began with me reminiscing about changes in my life which occurred nine years ago. Here's the initial post if you haven't read it. From there you'll find the others in the order they were written.

David Crowder Band, Surely We Can Change

I'm sure that there were some concerns from members of our families who may have felt we were moving too quickly by getting married after only knowing each other such a short time. I'd likely have had the same concerns if I were in their shoes. Tammy and I felt early on that God was in the middle of our relationship and that it was He who brought us together. I don't know how I can explain it any simpler.

It was nice that Rachel knew Kelsey and Cole (her cousins to be) from riding the bus to school. There were several things Tammy and I had in common which were encouraging to our relationship and each in their own small way gave us assurance that we were right for each other. Some silly, some not. Each one by themselves means little but when you begin to add them up it becomes difficult not to notice. You have to ask yourself; is God really in the small details or are these just coincidences? A few of those details to consider:

*Our faith. We both attended similar churches on opposite ends of the metro area. The type of church Tammy attended was important to her as mine was to me. She'd told herself that she wouldn't leave North Heights Lutheran Church unless she found something comparable. We went to a Saturday night service at my church, Hosanna, and she said that it was very much like the church she belonged to and that she would be very happy at Hosanna. Hosanna is just over a mile away from where we live.

*I'd been married to a woman from Thailand and Tammy had been married to a man from Vietnam. Having been exposed to Asian culture in my previous marriage would help me in understanding better that side of Rachel which her dad would bring to her life.

*We're nearly the same age with Tammy being just a few months younger than me.

*We both drove Nissan pickup trucks. That's a bit odd because unlike other parts of the country where Nissan trucks are plentiful the same can't be said for this area.

*We had the same bedroom furniture. You would think that it must be some common sort of style or manufacturer but it's not. When Noy and I divorced she took the dresser and a night stand from the set as part of our agreement. Tammy had those same pieces. It couldn't have been a better fit.

*We both spent just one day in the Girl/Boy Scouts when we were younger. Each of us not interested in continuing on.

*We each had a sibling who lived within a few miles of the other.

*We're both artistic.

*We're both conservative.

*We both bought Collective Soul's Dosage and Marc Cohn's Burning the Daze a couple weeks before meeting each other. We actually have a lot of the same music.

*We both shared an interest in stained glass.

*Working out and staying fit is important to both of us.

*We were both on Digital Cities at the same time looking for a partner.

Some people may say that those are interesting coincidences but nothing more. We'd disagree.

After our wedding we had a few weeks for Rachel to adjust to her new surroundings before she'd begin 2nd grade. She had no problem making friends in her new neighborhood and there were plenty to choose from. She took to her new environment better than I'd expected with just one small glitch her first night here. We have a home alarm and when I set it that night she took it to mean that we had an alarm because we must live in an unsafe area. There were a few tears born of fear. I explained to her that we lived in a very safe neighborhood and that the alarm was mostly there because my brother used to work for the company who sold it to me and that Bryan installed it. No more tears.

There was a contentment to my life with Tammy and Rachel that I'd never known. I found myself wanting to freeze time and live in the moment forever. Why would I want to wish these years away? While the guys at work couldn't seem to get through the years before retirement fast enough I was trying to do just the opposite. My view of wanting to slow my time to retirement has certainly changed in the past 18 months but it has nothing to do with my family. Read further into my blog to understand why.

Regardless how fast or slow we'd like the years to pass by they'll be here and gone too soon.

Fast forward to today. We've been together nearly nine years but it seems like so much less. Rachel has grown from a little girl to a young woman and will be off to college in a little more than two years. I'm eligible to retire but hope to keep doing what I'm doing for another five years. Tammy intends to keep working several more years as well.

I think of Tammy and Rachel and I thank God daily for them being in my life. I don't speak of Rachel as being my stepdaughter. She's my daughter. I know it's not intended to be but the 'step' part seems to put a negative connotation on our relationship and I don't like that. I couldn't love Rachel any more than I do if she were my own child. There's nothing I wouldn't do for her.

I couldn't have found a better partner in life than Tammy. Besides being the love of my life we're also best friends. I know that's cliche but it's true. I love spending time with her more than anybody else I can think of.

So let's hear it for a few guilty pleasures, for technology and silly romantic movies as well as following your heart. I couldn't have planned my life the way it's turned out nor can I tell you what tomorrow will hold. I'm not in control.

He is.

4 comments:

John said...

I wondered about the Asian look from previous pics of Rachel. My mom is Filipino.

Again, a great story.

Kevin said...

Thanks, John.

jackie said...

Kevin, What a truly heartfelt story. I know Tammy and Rachel feel just as blessed to have found you. What was the deal with Brittney Spears anyway? That is way to funny. I remember at school when I first saw her name I was totally unfamiliar with the pronunciation. I asked a couple of others and they were just as ignorant as I. We used to say NAGOYIN. Boy was I surprised to learn the correct way to say it. Why did I not just ask Rachel!I really enjoyed this look into the history of you and Tammy. Thanks for sharing. Jackie

Kevin said...

Jackie...thanks.

Brittney Spears was in the news then for who she was dating and I suppose Rachel figured it could have been me she was dating so I wouldn't be disrupting her and her mother's life. It totally took us by surprise and it was all we could do not to smile as that would only upset her more. We laugh about it today for sure.