Monday, June 5, 2017

What Marriage Looks Like: The Importance of a Name

May was a big month. A lot of growth...a lot of pain to get to the breakthrough. But, I am going to write the posts, they are important steps in the journey. For those who are grieving, for those who will, maybe seeing the process will help you. AND, maybe acknowledging them will help me, too. :)

This journal entry is from 5/19.

Today on Facebook memories: "we were enroute to Tucson." 2010. 

That weekend we flew to Arizona to look for a place to live (for his new job as the UA Livestock Judging Coach). We stayed with Barb and Steve (my aunt and uncle) and borrowed their Prius. (which Dan was a little self-conscious about; he didn't want his new co-workers to think he was hippie, you know. But, he soon came to realize that it's Tucson. a) who cares? and b) everybody's a hippie. at least a little bit. :) 

We drove all around Tucson - to Harrison, on Grant, Tanque Verde, River Road. We at lunch at Sauce on Campbell. We learned about the wonder that is Eegee's fries (but I don't think I ever had any - ever). [it's amazing to go back into that memory - these streets that you experienced for the first time that then became so familiar, second-nature...home]

We drove up to the Catalinas to explore (that's one of the four mountain ranges surrounding Tucson for those who haven't been there). Dan kept commenting on how "wild" everything was.

And it was.

And it made me laugh to hear him say it, "wild" - with such...wonder.

I'm sure it was on that trip that it started to hit me that he'd be leaving me in two months. This man who had become such a staple in my life was moving to this wilderness...without me. How could I live without his presence?

It was on this trip that we came up with our nicknames for each other:

My Shining Steed.    
My Wilderness Companion.

It was while driving along the saguaro-studded hills of the road into the Catalinas.
We didn't want cutesy nicknames - we wanted words, names, that held meaning of who we are to the other - names of strength, endurance, respect, and fidelity. None of that "cupcake" and "pumpkin" crap. :)  For the etymology of our names:

Shining Steed: 

Maybe it's weird that it's an animal and not a prince or a knight...but those terms (trust me, I considered them) felt false to me. Referring to Dan as a steed feels right - accurate:
A workhorse,
salt of the earth,
loyal, forever true, faithful - 
but still, wild - worthy of respect.

And Shining: 
because, to me, he is. My love. My light. My hope. Pure...purified by love, light, and the hope of us, wholly mine; shining: what we aspire to be.

Wilderness Companion:
willing to walk beside, no matter the path - 
finding light, strength, beauty, and hope in the journey together.

Everything that I aspire to be...everything that I want people to see in me, captured in one name. Even now - especially now - I draw strength in my name, bestowed in love, by love, for love.

We referred to each other by our names frequently. The picture is of the envelope from my 5th anniversary card. Till the very end. Always. 


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