Once upon a time, 10 years ago, today to be exact, I married my best friend, and as I like to say, a spell was lifted from me. I woke that morning excited and nervous like most brides, but I had a looming fear that Chris wouldn’t show up for the wedding like other brides that have the same fear cross their minds as well.
I want to explain my story, how I feel a spell was lifted, and how I am now 10 years in with the love of my life. Trust me, this isn’t super sappy, actually probably more depressing, but, spoiler alert, I promise it ends well.
I was someone, through the time we were dating, that expected him to leave at any moment, and I felt like I was so unlovable, and everyone else in my life seemed to disappear. What would make him any different? Chris, through our dating life for about 3 and half years, loved me… despite me. I was insecure, and couldn’t see my worth, but he did. Let’s just get real, I was a mess, a mess I tell you!
Because of all the stuff that happened in my life, and all the people that didn’t stick around, one could only look at the common factor of why everyone left, and that common factor was me. I was too young to realize it wasn’t me but even with that insecurity, my life was an emotional mess of trying to make people love me, but wanting to push them away at the same time. This is super cliché of course, but the truth none the less, and my Chris got the brunt of that.
I felt angry a lot, and looked for any reason for why this wouldn’t work. I can’t express the feelings, and how much trying to push someone away, or constantly thinking someone is leaving you takes a toll on you, but it does. In the same breath, I was co-dependent and only wanted to be with Chris. I was sad when he wanted to do other things, and thought he just wanted to get away with me. To be honest the way I was acting I wanted to be away from me.
This man took the time to have patience with me, and although some people laughed, he wanted to get in couples counseling before we were engaged (we were headed in that direction). He said he wanted to know how he could help me as well, especially with my fears. When I had to go to counseling after being taken from my mom, my counselor said “Randie, when you get into a serious relationship things will come up that you have never felt before and you should get back in counseling.” She was not kidding. She was very kind in what she said, but I wish there was a more blunt warning, like “hey, you may be a crazy person for a bit.” Oh geez. So I did go back, with Chris along with me.
Our dating life was great, but when I look back I see this shell of a person that was so unhappy with life, yet this wonderful man saw through that. My best friend Michelle (of almost 10 years in November) had seen me before we were friends, and then we met again 6 months after I was married and I was a different person. By no means am I saying that I think marriage in itself made me better, actually I think it is usually the opposite. This is just proof of the spell releasing me. If we had mentors when we were dating, in my opinion someone should have told Chris to run. Not because I am being hard on myself, but at times I was manipulate, clingy, and there was just a lot of crazy on my end. Obviously I was pretty cool too, and had good qualities, but when you’re about to get married, you have to be willing to accept bad qualities, and at that time, I feel there were more bad then good. Don’t worry I am pretty awesome now, and obviously very humble. For someone reason, again, Chris saw through that. That was risky.
During this time, leading up to me getting married my birth family (not my mom), who was kept away from me, found me. My cousin Karen told me how proud of me she was and explained where they have been and why they weren’t around. Not their doing and a story for another time, but they tried to get to me. Believe it or not this is supposed to be a happy story, don’t worry it will get there. I was starting to see people weren’t leaving me, in fact they were coming back, and my cousin said she was paying for the wedding. With my cousin Karen acting as wedding planner and doing so much for my wedding, really all of it, along with my Great Aunt Barbara, My Uncle and Aunt, and my Grandpa, the stage was being set for a magical day, which a lot of brides dream of. I never really dreamt of the day, or if I would even want to get married, but here we were.
My life was coming together, all my loved ones, MY LOVED ones, my real honest to goodness blood loved ones were there, and showed me unconditional love, while I was about to marry the man of dreams.
Luckily, I didn’t share my crazy too much with them, and I didn’t want to let them know, I just didn’t think Chris was going to show. Not because he ever said anything like that, in fact he never did, it was always me just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It was 10am on June 23rd, 2006 and I was about to get my hair and makeup done, and my beautiful besties Kristin and Jennifer were with me. I was told not to contact Chris, you know tradition and blah blah blah, but I don’t think they even knew what was happening in my head. Today was the day, the day that I wanted to be Mrs. De Vesta, but was afraid I would not only lose the name, but my best friend because why would he commit his life to this hot mess? Please note I do see the crazy in this, and how I was, but that is kind of the whole point of where I will eventually bring it all together.
I snuck to my car because “I needed a minute,” and “forgot something in my car.” But I snuck out and called Chris. I have a ton of hair, so sitting there to get my hair done would take forever. I called and said “really if you aren’t going to be there, please tell me now, I don’t want to sit there for hours.” Oh my gosh, crazy person! Of course he said, “I love you, and I will see you soon.” Love him.
I sat, got my hair done, got my dress on, got in the coolest car ever with my grandpa and we drove to the sweet little chapel in the Knott’s Berry Farm parking lot. I sat there nervous, and just as I was about to get out of the car to go in the bridal suite, one of the groomsmen was running towards me at full speed. I started to tear up, this was it, Chris ran away. He got to our seriously amazing car, and said “Randie….” and I interrupted with “did Chris leave?” He looked at me with a funny smile and chuckled and said “no, we are in the suite so just drive around a bit so he doesn’t see you.” I almost died.
We lined up, everything was going perfect, except I walked in at the wrong time. Long story (not that this isn’t now), but to all those who know me, yes, I am still bitter about that and it has been 10 years! I need more help. I walked down to a very smiling Chris and we said “I do.” He didn’t leave, he was there, he didn’t run away when, in my opinion, he really should have. And that is when the spell was broken.
First, I am kidding about the spell. But I am not kidding about how it felt like on that day my life changed and this looming fear that hung over me was lifted. I calmed down, I realized that he wasn’t going anywhere. I then realized, hey, I get to come home to him ever night, it is ok for us to have friends and do things separately ( I am not talking about all the time, but remember I was crazy before, so even once felt like a lot). I started to become myself, who I think I was always meant to be. I started getting into serving at church, in places that Chris wasn’t, and building friendships. My personality was better.. really. I wasn’t always looking so sad and depressed.
I am so thankful for Chris. He stuck by me and showed me that I was worth all the crazy, and that I was worthy of love. God used him as a tool to show me His love, and that I am way more special then all the hurt I have encountered.
Now here we are 10 years later.
Chris my love. We have been through so much, so much. I want to thank you that you stood alongside me and helped me to see who I am, that God loves me, and that I am worthy of being loved. Thank you for helping me become a stronger person. We have had so many great times, and some really hard times. In those hard times, I want to thank you for again choosing me. Thank you for showing me this is not one sided, that I don’t just need you, but you need me. I am so very proud of you. We were two young kids, and you have been an unbelievable husband and an amazing dad to our sweet silly little baby. You realized things needed to change in certain areas and you have been amazing at making those changes happen, and for making those steps to change them, and for allowing me to take my time getting adjusted to our “new normal” (thank you Amanda for that). I love you so much, and I love where we are, I love that we are proud parents of a very sassy, independent, smart, caring, loving daughter. I am so thankful that you kept me, and I kept you, and we are where we are now. I now know who I am, and am ready to keep growing as I know you are as well. I feel like we can say “we lived happily ever after.” This to me is a fairytale. There is nothing really fancy, no singing birds, and we didn’t ride off into the sunset. Instead there are real disagreements, frustrations, cleaning up poop and pee (Arwen’s if anyone is wondering), exhaustion. There is also laughter, love, so much love, prayer, fun and silliness all the time. Chris this is real, and I wouldn’t want anyone else, and I wouldn’t want any Disney “fairytale.” I love that ours is quirky and weird, but it’s ours and it is so very real. I am so proud to be who I am today, and not be the same as 10 years ago, and I am so thankful that I am Mrs. De Vesta. I love you, and can’t wait to spend even more years together.