Thursday, May 6, 2010

Three Anniversaries - One Day

I am so many blogs behind. My schedule makes it very challenging to find the time to write even though it is what I love to do and perhaps one of the things I do well.....I guess I would like to think I do it well. I owe a writeup of Lavaman and I want to write a blog to those thinking about a marathon and I want to blog the Summer 2010 Westside Team in Training season. I hope to get to this but for now I wanted to take 5 minutes and write about today, May 6, 2010. One day. Three Anniversaries.

On May 5, 1997, I found myself late packing for Santa Barbara. I was heading to UC Santa Barbara for a Mock interview session. I was heavily involved with recruiting while working at KPMG and May 6th was to be a day of interviews designed to teach the students how to interview.......treat it as a real interview but for the sake of giving feedback. It could help you but not hurt you. I was so late that I just grabbed a suit, shirt and tie and hung it up in my car skipping the suitcase. All was well except when I arrived to my hotel room later that tie!!! In today's world of casual business attire this might have been acceptable but back in the day (I am officially so old that I can use this saying) we were very formal and there was no way I could show up without a tie.

Enter Crea Rockwood. She was the student that helped coordinate this Mock Interview session with all of the firms and I reached out to her to mention my situation. She agreed to meet me a little early on May 6th and take me to the student store to see if they might have a tie. I still remember walking on campus and Crea coming out to greet me. I remember three things as if this happened 5 minutes ago. I remember her amazing smile which can light the planet, I remember her energy which also could light the planet and.......I hate to admit it but I am nothing if not honest.....her butt. I remember thinking she was very fit which would probably impress me more today than it should have then because I had stopped running and did very little but work. Anyway, we went to the store and I bought quite possibly the ugliest tie on the planet. It had stripes that made no sense and a big UCSB logo but it got me through until lunch when I made my way to Nordstrom and purchased a more appropriate tie.

The rest of the day went on without a hitch. It is all a blur until the interviews were over and I remember loitering to see if Crea would come back. She did, I asked if she wanted to grab a bite to eat, she accepted and the rest is history as on July 31, 1999 we were married in Thousand Oaks, CA. For the record, I still have that tie I bought from Nordstrom and I still wear it today which signals both that I know how to pick a timeless tie and that I consider May 6, 1997 a very lucky day.

At this point you know why May 6th is my 13th anniversary with Crea. Now to why it is my 11th and my 1st. It all ties to the story most of you already know so I will be brief. On July 31, 2003, my sixth wedding anniversary, my wife called me 2 days before our little girl Isabella was to be born. She did not call because of going into labor like one would expect. She called to tell me she could not feel Isabella kicking anymore. It was a bad bad day. I have so many vivid images.........running out of work faster than I had ever screeching tires leaving work and the fear of God on the look of my coworker because she could see the fear in my eyes as I drove off........the ultrasound where they tried time and time again to find a screams when they couldn' wife's labor, all her effort knowing the outcome would not be a good one. Crea fought with all she had NOT to push. I think it was so that Isabella would be born and as such pass on a day different than our wedding anniversary. Once the clock struck midnight and the calendar changed to August, my wife let go and Isabella made her way directly from Crea's womb to the hands of God which I have to say must be a blessed life.

Since 2003, we have always celebrated our wedding anniversary on July 31st and what we call Isabella's Day on August 1st. The combination of the two has always felt very odd. We really try to treat Isabella's Day with joy knowing she did live that blessed life knowing none of life's hardships. We try to picture her with all our relatives having a good time up in Heaven but, truth be told the cliche 'the Silence is Deafening' applies here. It is a day that should be filled with cake and laughing children and a Megan Fox pinata (ok the pinata is for me). This overwhelming silence is always the hard part for me. It is because of all this that it is tough to really celebrate July 31st. As such, Crea and I have decided to move our wedding anniversary forward to coincide with the day we met. May 6, 2010 is now the thirteenth anniversary of the day we met, the first anniversary that we celebrate on this day and our eleventh wedding anniversary. For me, I like to think it is our first anniversary as well because I think we need a fresh start. We have been through a lot during our marriage. We are hopefully beyond Crea's cancer. We have got caught up in work and life and not spent as much time as we should with each other, friends and family. My hope is that going forward we get it all right and take some time to smell the roses. There is a song by Paper Tongues called 'What If" that, for me, brings a lot of meaning to this day and it is my song to Crea. "What if we start over right now, come back together and break down"