On Friday (February 4th) Huib and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it was 5 years ago that we said our vows in front of family and friends at the Waterloo Inn and spent the evening celebrating. We’re still paying off the wedding, but it was a memorable day for everyone.

Huib and I have decided to mark this anniversary and every tenth one after (15th being our next) by creating a slide show of pictures from our years together. This one will include pictures from our full ten years together, but the ones following will only include pictures from the last slide show up to the current year of the anniversary. If I can figure out how to do it, I will post the slide show here and on Facebook for everyone to view.

Being Huib’s wife has been an indescribable experience. He’s one in a million and I’m blessed to have him all to myself. I know I write about how amazing he is all the time, but you really have to know Huib to understand that I’m not exaggerating. He’s extremely caring, overly loyal and wants nothing more than for me to be happy. Whenever we’re out and he sees something I might like he’ll show me and if I even smile, he’ll say we should buy it or tell me we’ll get it when it goes on sale. When at work he e-mails if I haven’t already to see how I’m doing or calls during his breaks just to hear my voice. When his co-workers ask him to come out for a drink after shift or invite him over for a party, he’ll either tell them he has to get home or ask if he can come later with me. I’m not sure people understand our relationship at times, but from day one Huib and I have always tried to include one another in everything – not because we have to, but because we want to.

I love you Huib with all my heart and could never imagine life without you by my side. We’ve made it this far, let’s try for a lifetime!!

When I Was Young

Currently I’m reading “Best Friends Forever” by Jennifer Wiener and it’s got me thinking about my days in elementary school and how friends come and go. “Best Friends Forever” is about a woman named Adelaide Downs who has worked hard all her life to be liked. As a child she was overweight and kids at school never wanted anything to do with her. Then a mother and daughter move in across the street and Addie learns what it is like to have a friend. The book chronicles their friendship and the ups and downs that go with such intimate relationships.

So far I’ve only read about seven chapters, but already its got me thinking about my childhood and how I used to dread going to school as a child because I knew what was coming – non-stop name calling and the occasional eraser or elastic in the back of the head. Ever since I was two and a half years old I’ve had no hair. The doctors don’t really know why it fell out, but since a young age I’ve had to deal with the torment that goes along with being different. I remember wanting so badly to be a part of the “in-crowd” and almost wanting to cry when I was overlooked every day. It wasn’t until high school (I had lost my sight during the summer) that I actually learned what it was like to be welcome and a part of a group.

I had friends as a child, but not many stuck around long-term – either they’d move or we’d grow apart. I remember how hard it was at times to make friends and then hoped that they would not end up turning on me in the end because someone decided to befriend them from the “in-crowd”. I think the most heartbreaking friendship I lost, was when I was in grade 7 and had befriended a boy named DJ. DJ was new to the school and became my friend almost instantly. We’d get together after school to toboggan or just hang out at each other’s house almost every day. As our friendship grew, other kids began to tease him and I watched as he started to move away from me out of embarrassment. I actually liked this guy, he was the first guy I truly liked as a child and it was hard to see his behavior change towards me just because others didn’t see what was so worthwhile in being my friend. Even to this day I think about DJ and what great friends we could have been if he had just seen past all the comments made by others.

In high school everyone knew me and would offer help whenever they thought I needed it. I remember kids who had teased me during elementary school running over to be of assistance, only to be turned away because I didn’t want to be their “good deed for the day”. I would eat lunch with a group of kids each day and meet up with others during spares. Life in high school was so much different from the days I spent in elementary school, but still there were friends who came and went – the difference this time was that I often chose to part ways.

As you can see my childhood was quite the experience, but it only helped to make me the person I am today. I’m an independent-minded, caring and welcoming woman, but I’m also not one to let someone walk all over me. Reading “Best Friends Forever” has really gotten me thinking about my past and wondering what the future will bring.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell

Some Great news!

I had to share this link because it is welcome news and hits home for me not only as a person with a disability, but also because I see myself as somewhat of a “side lines advocate” (for lack of a better phrase).

My sister works for Community Living and during a recent staff meeting was informed that they would now need to take extra care in documenting all bruises, injuries and complaints of clients since the police could be called to investigate at any time. My sister is worried about this because bumps can happen without notice, but she also takes comfort in knowing her clients will now have a voice and will be watched more closely. I’m guessing this policy has been implemented because of the changes mentioned below.

Rolling Around In My Head: By God Finally A New Year: “It should be a given. People with disabilities have a right to be safe in care. Organizations and the governments that fund them need to ens…”

My soul Mate

Today Huib and I are celebrating our 10th year of being together. Ten years ago we began dating and although it hasn’t always been perfect, we have defied the odds and are still just as happy together.

We met through a program at the University of Guelph called Safe Walk. I was the coordinator and he was one of the volunteers. I had seen his name on the volunteer list during my first year with the program, but it wasn’t until my second that I actually got a chance to meet him. One evening in October he was volunteering with one of my friends and they came by to say hi and to use my residence phone since he wouldn’t get back to his room until late and he needed to call his mom. After this initial meeting we had a chance to volunteer together a few times and this began our friendship. At the end of the month I had to attend a conference in Ottawa and after calling everyone, Huib offered to attend with me – as long as we could stop by his parent’s place for lunch on our way home. We had a blast in Ottawa, he showed me all the tourist attractions during our free time and we became closer as friends by the end.

All through November we spent our free time together and as he would now admit developed a “unique” friendship that crossed several boundaries. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t wait until the next time we’d see one another whenever he left, even if it was only for an hour or we’d spent a whole day together doing nothing. Around the end of November I decided to be straight and ask him if he wanted to go out with me. I had been asked about our relationship by friends constantly and got up the courage to ask since he wasn’t really making any clear moves. He told me he thought I was a great friend and saw me as more of a sister than a girlfriend – I was crushed. We still continued to spend all of our time together and it seemed as though nothing had changed, so I was relieved.

On the 24th of November Huib went to Toronto with his roommate to attend the Barenaked Ladies concert and told me he’d be back the following day. He called me when he returned and said it was his roommates birthdays (they are twins) and had to stay for dinner and cake, but would be over later to watch a movie. We watched Far and Away that evening and when it was all over he looked over and kissed me – I was shocked!

Our first year together was a bit rocky, his family didn’t approve of me and gave him an ultimatum – either he break up with me or they would stop paying for his schooling – but we stayed strong and will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary on February 4th.

Huib is an amazing husband and friend. He is always there for me when I need someone to laugh with or when I need a shoulder to cry on. He will attend girly movies with me without a complaint and help pick out clothes during my shopping excursions. Most remarkable of all though is how he puts up with my more emotional moments and reminds me of all the good things I have accomplished in my life.

I don’t know what I did to deserve such an amazing man, but I am thankful for him and for the love and support he provides every day without a second thought.

What If

I am currently reading “Remember me?” by Sophie Kinsella and can’t stop wondering – what if this happened to me? This is the first book of hers that I’ve read, but she also wrote the popular book “confessions of A Shopaholic” which I think was recently made into a movie. From what I’ve read, her books tend to have a humorous tone to them and “Remember me?” doesn’t seem to deviate from this trend.

Lexi (the main character) wakes up in the hospital and doesn’t know where she is or what has happened. As far as she can remember, it’s 2004 and she had been out with friends clubbing and remembers falling down some stairs. When the doctors come in to speak with her, she learns that she’s been in a car accident and that it’s the year 2007 – which means she’s lost 3 years of her memory! The book is told in the first person and describes the turmoil she experiences while trying to piece together what she has lost.

I’ve read other books where peple have lost memories or been through traumatic experiences, but for some reason I find myself constantly thinking about this one. What would I do if I lost three years of my life? I know Huib would be by my side the whole time trying to help me through the process, but I also wonder – would I want him to have to deal with this? He’s just such a wonderful man and has never once complained about the things I ask his help with or about me not having a job. Would I want to put this additional burden on him?

I guess I’ll never know the answer unless I’m put into the situation, but this book has sure got me thinking…