Tuesday, August 28

The Story of Us Part III

August 6, 2012 marked 11 years together for Ryan and me.

Eleven years together, six of those married.

I love our story.

From the first 18 years of chance meetings and unbelievable coincidences to the last six years of marriage, parenthood and figuring out, well, everything.

I never want to forget how we came to be or all that we've been through to get here.

Catch up with Part I here and Part II here.


When I think about the first five years Ryan and I were together, it's a bit of a blur.

And not that great of a blur, actually.

Neither of us had the greatest of jobs and we always struggled with money.

The fallout from Ryan's previous relationship was carrying on - and actually cost me a job. The first good job I ever had.

I got laid off from the job after that and couldn't find another.

For WAY longer than I care to admit.

And we had a HUGE falling out with Ryan's mother.

("Falling out" Bahahaha! On a scale of 1 - Nuclear War? It was Chernobyl. Times 5.)

Something that went on for about 4 years, will never be resolved and nearly broke Ryan's and my relationship.

Even still, the first five years were largely uneventful.

Well the first 3 anyway.

After wallowing in the biggest wallow hole in the history of holes, I got my unemployed (and quickly growing) ass up and enrolled in college.

Seems like that's something I would've and should've done a lot sooner, right? There are three reasons I didn't:

  1. My parents NEVER talked to me about my future - post-secondary school, career, life plan, nada. I mean I knew I could be anything I wanted to be but I don't remember that conversation going past the princess and rock star phase.

  2. No money. Zip. Zero. Nothing. Nada. I had no college fund. My parents had no money. I had no money. And I was completely uneducated in the student loan/bursaries/grants department.

  3. I was going to be a Mama when I grew up. Part of the reason I didn't have an education/career plan is because I had a plan to be a Mama. That's what I have always wanted to be. (Once I got over wanting to be a princess and a rock star.) There was a brief period that I REALLY wanted to be a psychiatrist but on career research day I quickly realized that was FAR out of my grasp. Plus holy school forever, Batman!! The only flaw in my Mama plan was the time between finishing high school and actually having a baby. Apparently I thought I could just sit and look pretty in the meantime?? I also have to add that for a good number of years I was hellbent on having a sperm donor baby and doing it alone. Good thing I had a solid career plan to back that up.

So in 2004 I signed myself up to get a higher education.

I kinda like to talk this up a bit because I took a 10 month Administration course and "Oh, so you went to college to learn how to answer the phone?"

No. Asshat.

I'm not claiming to be a neurosurgeon or anything but the school is well-respected and the program highly recognized. I graduated on the Dean's List and I can run an office like a freaking BOSS.

So there.

But I'm totally off-track here.

I went to school, worked my ass off.

In the meantime, Ryan had left his warehouse job and started working as a concrete pump operator.

People ALWAYS ooh'd and aah'd over that and I always beamed.

My previous relationships had been the kind where people looked at us and thought "Why in the world is SHE with HIM??" (Not to make myself out to be some huge perfect prize or anything.) Never had I been with a guy people were IMPRESSED by.

I have to say, it's really, really awesome.

So I'm going to school, Ryan's working. I'm enjoying school, Ryan's happy in his job and making MUCH better money.

 One autumn day I check my messages at lunch.

"Rebecca, It's Nicole from ::Ryan's work::. Ryan's been in an accident. He is ok. I talked to him and he's ok. Don't panic. But he's at the hospital. Call me when you get this."


Who DOESN'T panic when they get a call that a loved one has been in an accident and is at the hospital.

If there's no reason to panic WHY IS IT AT THE HOSPITAL!?!?!

I panicked. Obviously.

Turns out he was backing a cement mixer up to his pump, this happened, that happened and BAM! Ryan's trapped between the bumper of the mixer and the bumper on the pump truck.  He basically ended up sitting on the bumper of the pump truck while the mixer drove up his leg.

He should have broke his femur.

Luckily for him, he'd been riding his bike back and forth to work so his legs were like tree trunks. The paramedics even asked him if he was a triathlete or something.

Femur intact, something punctured his thigh. We still have no idea what, but it left a sizeable hole in his leg. He was stitched up at the hospital and sent home to rest.

And fill out WCB forms.

A few weeks later Ryan went to the clinic to have the stitches removed. And the hole split open.

Do you know what happens when a gaping wound doesn't heal properly?

They pack it with gauze and let it heal from the inside out.

I get shivers just thinking about the endless snake of gauze stuffed in Ryan's leg.


Ryan now has a dent under his left ass cheek and a divot sort of looking thing on his upper thigh.

Sometimes he pretends it's a gunshot wound.


Though not incredibly serious, this was the first trauma Ryan and I had been through. It kinda made me realize how I felt about him.

Not in one of those profound, movie montage sort of ways. More of a "Hey. Maybe I'm in this for more than I thought I was" sort of ways. We were already pretty serious and committed this just kind of solidified it a bit more, I guess.

Shortly thereafter, girls in my class started getting engaged.

It was like an epidemic.

Almost every week someone was coming in with a shiny new rock on her finger.

And I was jealous.

Up until this point Ryan and I were on the same page marriage-wise: We weren't doing it.

We both agreed marriage was stupid and unnecessary. We could be just as committed without a legal document as we could with. So why bother?

Because all the other girls were doing it, that's why.

(Good reason, right?)

I jokingly pestered Ryan about buying me a shiny rock and, like a man, he just sort of shrugged it off.

I figured it wasn't happening. Whatever.

That February, Ryan and I went on a road trip to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Our first vacation together.

We spent one of the first days touring around Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium. We had our caricatures drawn by a little old Asian man outside the Aquarium, we took pictures inside the Hollow Tree and took a stroll along the seawall.

Tres touristy!

As we were walking along the seawall - at sunset, of course - Ryan stops me and turns me so I'm facing him.

Honestly, I don't remember a single word he said to me. All I remember is thinking "What the eff is going on? We have dinner reservations and this guy is standing in the middle of the seawall jabbering on. I'm hungry!"

I might have even said something to the effect of "Come on! I'm hungry! Can't we do this later?"

Next thing I know there's a ring box in my face.

Looking back now, I wish I remembered more. And I wish I hadn't been so "Yes, I'll marry you. Let's go! I'm hungry!"

I think it was a combination of being taken completely off guard, not really wanting some big public proposal and....hunger.

I totally ruined Ryan's proposal.

And, to make matters worse, I hated the ring he chose.

It was almost identical to my mother's wedding ring and, well, it just didn't conjure up the best feelings for me.

So here I am, the girl who was adamantly never getting married, changing her mind completely, ruining the proposal and hating the ring.

Why Ryan went through with it at all is beyond me.


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