Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our Love Story, Part 5

Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here

Engaged life was beautiful. We loved each other so much, and lived for the moment when we would be together again. I moved into our apartment by myself for two months, and lived there without a microwave or a table, a bed on the bare floor (how??). Ben would come visit occasionally, and we’d leave the door wide open to prevent “suspicious activity.” I would go over to his apartment. One time he made me taco salad with Dorito chips, which he was very proud of. That is true love right there.

We spent wonderful summer evenings together. Bike rides out to the lake. A hike up to the caves. Long walks around the quiet streets. Temples trips.

Temple trips. One weekend we drove up to Boise for me to prepare for my marriage by receiving my endowment. I was blessed to have the majority of my married brothers and sisters there for the event. I was sitting in the endowment room early, waiting for the other patrons to arrive. I remember so vividly when Ben walked in, all dressed in white. He had never looked so incredibly attractive to me. I was amazed that such a man would be mine forever.

We were so much in love. Ben started a chain for me to count down the days. On each link was one thing he admired about me. It was sappy and totally appropriate for our puppy dog love. The chain was growing short. Six, five days remained. One night Ben and I sat under the large full oak tree on the grassy area connected to my apartment. The stars twinkled overhead as we sat close and gazed at them. Love was tangible in the air. “I am going to marry Ben Dilsaver. I couldn’t be happier. My heart is going to burst at this moment.”

The day arrived. I had hired a professional hair and makeup artist for the morning, which I have never regretted. She worked her magic. I wore a plain purple dress Mom had made just for the car ride to the temple on our special day. I saw his dad as we entered the doors of the temple. “Where’s Ben?” And I saw him and our eyes met. He was awestruck. He couldn’t stop looking at me and he hugged me close. “You look so beautiful,” he almost whispered.
I cracked a smile as I realized that our dream was coming true. “June 19th! It’s finally here!”

Before the ceremony you get a little alone time in “heaven on earth” or the Celestial Room of the temple. We sat holding hands on the bench looking at each other. We had changed into our white clothing by this time and matched the beauty of room. “I love yous” and just smiles were mostly exchanged as we contemplated the eternal consequence of the covenant we were about to make.

We entered the sealing room. I was grateful for my mother’s advice to pick out a wedding dress that was appropriate for the temple ceremony, so it had so much more meaning than just for a photo shoot. We were surrounded by family and friends as we kneeled across from each other at the altar. I cried. Ben was crying too. We were so happy. True joy was witnessed as we made everlasting covenants to each other. It was beautiful.

I remember after I was dressed and ready to leave the temple, I waited forever for Ben to round the corner. What was taking so long? Patrons would pass me, “You look beautiful!” as they patted my arm. “Congratulations,” they whispered. Finally he arrived, and we walked out together. Hand in hand, as we would be for eternity.


July and August were complete bliss. I really can’t remember the details. I know we worked every day and came home to each other at night, but whenever I think of those two months the details go hazy and all I can remember is that I lived and breathed for Ben. We were one. We had no school, non-stressful jobs, and the only thing to worry about was each other.

At our two month mark, I was happy with our current state. “This is a sufficient amount of time,” I thought, “to live for one’s self.” We decided to start trying to have a baby.

School started again. We were still madly in love. Fall came and went. Winter arrived and the end of the semester. I started student teaching in January. Still no baby. I wasn’t worried, especially since I had other plans.

Privately I had applied to graduate school. This had been our first major decision as newlyweds, and I didn’t want any advice clouding our judgment. I wanted this to be a decision we had made together and with no one else.

March came, and with it the announcement of grad school decisions. I had been having a sinking feeling lately, but thought it only my nerves. But then, the dreaded announcement came. I did not get in.

I was emotional, embarrassed, and flabbergasted. Why? Why? And to top it all off, I hated teaching and I wasn’t pregnant! What now? And who am I to trust when I felt so good about grad school?

I had been feeling ill and tired lately. I had taken a million pregnancy tests the 8 months before, whenever I had a cold or a sense of imbalance. It had always been negative.

Ben convinced me to take one. “I don’t need any more bad news, my life is ruined.” I told him. But the next morning I took one. It was positive. I was ecstatic.

Ben was still in bed. I crawled under the covers and cuddled up next to him. “You’re going to be a father.” I announced. We laughed, we cried. We were incredulous. It worked. We were going to be parents. I can still see us lying there, in our bed, with my head on his chest, staring, dumbfounded, into our future. Little did I know motherhood would forever leave its distinguished “others-before-self” mark on me, and make me the best lover and wife that I ever could be. Little did I know how forever fatherhood would create in Ben a tender, selfless father whose love would become more all-encompassing than the love we had ever known. Little did we know what a wonderful change awaited us.

The story ends here. And by that I don’t mean true love ends here, or that the love in the story ends. But in parenthood the love takes on a somewhat different form that is unrecognizable to the courting boy and girl. It’s not easy to write out like a glance or a smile. It takes the form of the boring and mundane that looks dull on printed paper but is rich and meaningful in real life. True love in parenthood is godly love. “And it sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.” (1 Nephi 11:22) I feel honored to experience it while in mortality, and thank God for imparting an understanding of His love for me through this sacred calling.

1 comment:

  1. This has been so fun to read. Makes me want to write mine up. Thanks for sharing!