"Last night I was trying to go to sleep and I thought about our money. I thought of how I didn't think we were doing very well compared to when i was in St. George. Then I realized my money stress isn't so bad because we both have jobs and incomes and we are doing fine! What's the worst thing that can happen? I have all I need. I have you and no matter if we are dirt poor or not I have you and that is the most important thing to me."
The phone rang at 4 AM and Ralexwin reached over to pick it up.
I listened quietly to the single syllable conversation going on beside me.
"Okay, thanks." He said as he put the phone down and headed for the closet.
I rolled over and dozed until Ralexwin kissed me goodbye for the day. After the front door shut behind him I allowed myself the luxury of REM.
The phone yanked me out of oblivion an hour or so later.
"Hello?" I mumbled, thinking it was my husband.
"Hey, sorry to wake you. Is Ralexwin there?"
"Umm," I tried to form a coherent answer, "no, he's at work... can I take a message?"
"He's at work?"
"Yeah, he left about an hour ago. Can I help you?"
"This is Ken, his boss... umm, I called earlier."
"Oh, hi." Still not quite there.
"I told him he didn't need to come in today."
I sat up in bed. "He's not at work?"
"Not that I know of."
I sat in our living room for another hour before our little black car pulled back into the driveway. Concern twisted my stomach. I knew what must have happened.
It had been days since there had been any work for Ralexwin at the construction company. When his boss called that morning, Ralexwin must have pretended to go to work.
My heart broke for my new husband. I wanted to sooth his sorrows with the Balm of Gilead. Instead I was forced to watch the sun rise inch by inch and wonder.
He walked in the door.
"How long have you been up?"
"A while. Ken called."
"I was worried."
"I just didn't want to tell you I didn't have to go to work."
"Where'd you go?"
"Just drove around for awhile."
"I love you."
Once a long time ago I heard someone say that the first year of marriage was the best year you never wanted to do over.
I couldn't agree more.
Even after a year of dating I barely knew Ralexwin. We were learning how to manage with another person constantly with us.
It was blissful, it was fun, it was like a big sleepover that lasted forever.
It was stressful. We argued about how to make the bed (or in Ralexwin's case... would he please sleep UNDER the covers), how to cook dinner, how to wash the dishes, or why wasn't I finishing all my food.
I had a job that had me working opposite hours as Ralexwin. We rarely saw each other.
We struggled to create a feeling of normalcy within our new life.
I missed him and wanted to hear more about his days than the few sentences we exchanged every night before crashing onto our double sized mattress on the floor.
We had done so well with the letter writing that I came up with a grand idea.
We started to share a journal.
Each day I would get home from work to find it open on our bed. I would run to it and read the words I craved to hear.
Each night I would write my own message and leave it for him to see.
Some of our greatest memories are kept in this book:
The first time I felt Vicbowin move within me. Ralexwin was gone so I wrote it in our journal and then told no one until he had read it.
We discussed important issues like whether to take a Navy Scholarship.
We wrote terrible poetry to one another:
"Your love is like a lighthouse on a stormy seaWhen Ralexwin went to Iraq he took the journal with him (although he did atrociously bad at keeping up on it).
I know where I am and where to go
And without you I would be lost."
Once again the written word became our life-line. Our lonely hours were overcome with the prospect of making the other smile.