Saturday, February 8, 2014

Our Story

Valentines Day is quickly approaching.
It's never been a Holiday I care about much,
but this year I will feel the ache of not having my 
Valentine here.  I miss that guy.

In the past few months I've met a lot of widows,
a good chunk of them are close to my age and dealing with 
some of the same feelings and situations I am.
They have all found beautiful ways to document their memories
and lives with their husbands.

I've set a goal to really write down some great memories of Travis and I.
I want my kids to have lots and lots of memories of their own,
and memories they can picture from others.
 If you have a memory, kind thought, or anything you feel the ladies should
remember about T,
please e-mail it to me!

And enjoy these many "Travis Memories" posts to come.
Today's story is how we met- and fell in love.
I like this one.
(I like them all!)

Also, posts in italics are exerts straight from T's journal.
(I didn't include any of the embarrassing mushy things he wrote...
he would have killed me, but I loved his input on our story.
Just makes my day reading his words about it.)
I can't tell you how much I treasure these words. 
This journal is the best gift he ever gave me.

 I had my first real boyfriend when I was 15.
Yes, 15.
(Mom...Why? How did I get away with this?  How can i hide this from my kids in 5 years?)

This boyfriend was a Senior while I was a mere sophomore.
He had some of the most hilarious friends-who became some of my best friends.
And we had so much fun together.
I went to my first date with him.
My first high school dance with him.
We played volleyball with a huge group of friends
 under the lights in a small city nearby nightly.  
We went water skiing, snow skiing, and sat by the fire
in a secret campground his friends discovered.
And have really fond memories of the fun group of friends we had together.
It was a great way to start high school...and when he left for his LDS mission....

I was gonna be here when he got home.

as at least 75% of all Mormon girls do,
I wrote a Dear John letter because...
 I met boyfriend #2.

Boyfriend #2 was not a whole lot like #1.
He was more like the men in my family.
I remember fishing in the little ponds in his country town,
driving on dirt roads late at night-almost hitting deer multiple times.
4 wheeling and hunting.
I went to my last high school dance with him and spent graduation 
with him and our friends-picturing a future together.
We spent lots of time with each others families.
My family adored him.
And I adored his family.
He was in my future plans,
and we were all banking on it.

And when he left for his Mission....

I was gonna be here when he got home.

I was NOT going to be the girl who sent 2 missionaries off
and Dear John'ed them both.

I wasn't going to date anyone.
I wasn't going to give anyone else the time of day.

I was going to school and working full time and
focusing on the future and both of our families seemed content with this plan.

For a short amount of time, before I started school,
 I was just working full time.
I'd start at 6:00 am and had a phone job...
many times I would doze of while waiting for a call to come in.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me.
I am decidedly not a morning person.
I often went in a hat, sans makeup and eyes full of sleep.

This is how I met Travis.
(Even as I write this I grin.)

"It's one of those classic stories.  Boy meets girl.  They fall in love and
live happily ever after...well, not even close.  This story has to be one of the most complicated
ever written."

 He was a manager there and switched his shift to mornings
after I'd been there for a while.
 I have no recollection of our first meeting.
T always said I was wearing a red sweater...but I don't recall.
I don't really remember how we became such friends,
but at some point-
I'd always find myself with a question as soon as he was on the floor.
And he'd always happen to find a project by my desk...
"I was put in charge of seating so when everyone moved I kept Hayley right
in the front."
I loved being stuck in that front seat.

But it was harmless and he was a flirt and there were plenty of girls in the office
who liked this single Travis.
And he was 6 years older then me....
it seemed like a lot back then.
 I didn't hide the missionary from him.
I told anyone who would ask about him,
and made sure he knew that there was no way this would go anywhere.

It was harmless flirting.

Somewhere along the lines Travis and I both switched to working nights.
It was a slow season and he would find any excuse to get me working on 
a project near him, and in turn I found any excuse to chat with him.
I filed a lot of things that didn't need filing and cleaned a lot of already clean things.
We spent most of our work nights partially working, and mostly chatting.

I would try to set him up with girls from work,
just to make it clear that I was already taken.
(But inside I knew that he wasn't gonna date them)
(And I probably would have died a little inside if he would have).
 (Please remember I was young, selfish, and secretly smitten).

We worked till 9 each night and he always happened to leave the exact same time as me.

We'd walk down the back set of stairs together chatting,
He'd always walk me to my car,
and then we would go our separate ways.
And I drove away smiling, every single night.

But still,
I had big plans to marry that Missionary.
And I still didn't want to be 'that' girl.

A friend I worked with at the time also had a little crush on T.

So one day after work
 as we took our usual walk down the stairs I told him he should ask her out.

Travis looked at me with a pained expression...
and an annoyed expression.
(How I miss that look!)
 That day we happened to park in two separate parking lots.
He offered me a ride to my car and I quizzed him about why he wouldn't ask my friend out.

"I was such a pansy.  I wouldn't let her out of my car because I had something to tell her
but I couldn't say...If I could have read her mind I'm sure she was freaking out wishing she would have brought her can of mace. After a while I finally got the words out.  I can't go out with your friend because I want to go out with you. I did it. Now comes the part where she acts excited and says yes.  Well, that didn't happen either.  She sat silent for what seemed like an Eternity , and finally uttered maybe."

Yes, I just said maybe.
Travis wasn't shy exactly. 
He would have comfortable asking anyone else out..
but I'd been shoving my boyfriend in his face for months,
and he was adorably nervous.

I loved it.
I still love just thinking about it.

the thought of telling my family,
or the Missionaries family that I was even thinking of dating
made me feel ill.

I hated thinking I was letting anyone down.
(32 year old me knows that my family and his family would have understood,
but 19 year old me didn't dare even broach the subject.  I was really pretty dumb about it.)

So I eventually told Travis no.
And then spent hours and hours chatting with him after work.

I mean hours.

We stood in a parking lot, or sat in our cars listening to music,
and talking about everything under the sun.
It was never boring and it was the brightest spot of my day.

Travis was nothing like anyone I'd known.
He had such a head on his shoulders.
He knew what he wanted and had so much ambition and drive.
He was so smart and athletic and sarcastic.
His sarcasm and sense of humor just fit me to a T.

And before I knew it,
I was head over heels in love.

We'd never even kissed.

And we had never even been on a date.

I fell in love in a parking lot.
A really ghetto parking lot.

And it scared the hell out of me.

I had never even mentioned him to my family.
So naturally,
being the complete wuss that I was,
I broke up with him.

In the parking lot-of course.

I told him I would marry my Missionary and that we should end it 
before either one of us got in over our heads.

And he said,
"Oh I think it's too late for that."
He walked me to my car that night and told me he didn't really think
it was fair that it felt like we were breaking up and we'd never even kissed.
And then he kissed me.
(Till he died he maintained that I went in for the second kiss..we agreed to disagree).

"As I told her goodnight she pulled me in for another kiss, (she claims I moved in for one last
smooch, but I know for a fact that she pulled me in".

I went home with a heavy-very confused heart.

During this time I was going to school in the mornings and working at night,
so time was limited.
And for an entire day I really kept to that break-up.

But... it just didn't keep.
I adored him too much, 
and he wasn't giving in.
And somehow,
he became my secret boyfriend who 
I just couldn't bring myself to tell anyone about. 
I felt like it started out so innocent and became something 
so real, so fast,
I just didn't know how to broach the subject with anyone...
so I didn't.

Instead of just hanging out in the parking lot,
we started going places and spending every free second together.
We broke up and got back together almost weekly because
he was ready for more and I was so caught in my web that I didn't know 
where to start unraveling.

This lasted for along time.
When I think about it,
I know that Travis just saw the bigger picture,
and that's why he put up with me.
It was completely unfair to him,
but I believe he knew how great we could be together,
and he knew he'd win.
Travis really, really liked to win.
 (Also, the quote below makes me love my husband even more now.)
"Someone told me the other day that life's challenges make us tougher,
and the longer the challenge, the tougher we become.  They said we will be
ever more excited for the reward.  I love to be an optimist about so many things. I always envision that hole in one or winning the big game but I am always willing to accept when those things don't happen.  I don't want this to be the same thing. I have believed for a long time that Hayley is the one for me and I know the time is coming when this can become a reality."

Not long after he wrote that,
the missionary came home.
I waited....
Kind of.
Sort of.

Travis was in Canada for work the week he came home.
It gave me time to explain myself to the missionary,
and my family...
 and to realize how lucky I was that he stuck around.

"If all goes according to plan (Now this is my plan),
Hay will realize that she can't live without me by the end of May.  At that time I will be able to meet her family and we will begin a normal relationship.  By the end of June I will buy her a ring and we will be married in September."

Trav's plan happened just like he hoped.  My family would easily choose him over me.  They adore him.  He proposed on July 3rd and we got married Sept 6th.
I still realize every single day that I can't live without him.
But since I have to, I'm doing my best. :)

Even though the way we fell in love was not quite right, or normal, or perfect,
I love it.
It was just for us.
For a long time,
it was just us.

I treasure those hours we spent just learning about each other.
I treasure the little notes we'd leave on cars,
and the secret moments we shared.
 It was such an adventure to fall in love with Travis,
granted, an adventure that took place primarily in a parking lot,
but the best adventure I've had.
I know that I am a lucky one and intend to do my best to remember
that I was lucky enough to get this,
even if it wasn't for as long as either of us would like.


Trisha said...

This is such a great story! I love that you have his words to read over and over. You are so very loveable!

Mortons Love said...

This is SO very good! Man, he was so in love with you and everyone knew it. I was just one friend who you tried to tell ME to ask him out. Not that I had a crush on him or anything, but I knew you were just trying to get everyone off your trail! Or you were trying to test me, I don't know.

What's funny is at my wedding, Scott and I had no idea where to seat the two of you. You were both invited as friends, but his family was invited and they didn't know. It was weird. We ended up putting you at a friends table with him, while his family was across the room! Too funny! That was in March, so I guess too early to tell anyone. good times.

AND I'll always remember when he moved out of CS and he would be done with work, but end up bringing you back some kind of treat to leave on your desk. Often Ben and Jerry's. What a guy!

Becca said...

I love your ghetto love story. It's the best!

Matt Payne said...

I love this! how fun! I remember seeing you and Travis together at work. good ol Icon hook up. I used to go to work with out make-up too. that shift was horrible!