“I’ve been organizing my memories when I ran into the 1st anniversary greeting written behind a sticker. So young, so naive but every word was true. I thought we conquered it all but it was just the beginning. 2 lost souls who found each other. But God definitely aligned our lives so that we would meet twice to connect our souls to be complete. Yes we were young but we were old souls that lived too much life too fast… who needed to feel young again & to be able to let somebody in. Even though we had to grow up fast we learned how to really LIVE and really LOVE with each other and it was always because of God. Only He & having childlike faith in unconditional love has brought us this far.” Written via Instagram 11/02/2014
Today is me and the hubby’s 19th dating anniversary! I knew Daniel since I was 15 yrs old, the first time we met @ Benicia High he tried to pick up on me & I shot him down, he got so mad that he told me I wasn’t all that & that I had a big fo’ head. That whole year we had a love/hate friendship. It wasn’t until I came back to Benicia in the 11th grade to Liberty that we finally gave in ( : The rest is history!” (Had to make corrections since I last posted it)
A couple social media throwbacks to help tell our story. The school we met at had a class called opportunity. Tucked away in the corner of the school. Pretty much where the troubled teens went. So there is no surprise with the attitude that came from me and Daniel. This set the tone for how we interacted in this one class; that we had to be in for the whole day. We didn’t have a normal High School experience. We were very alike with our troubles in school and in life yet very different. I remembered one time I was sleeping in class and he cut apart of my hair. He tied it to a pen and said it’s his lucky pen. We often bantered maybe a little flirting. He might have been more outward in his expression but I was no angel. Something that is no secret to our kids who are now teenagers. It was important to both of us that we let them understand rebellion by sharing our own stories. We definitely didn’t want them to make the same mistakes we have in growing up too fast.
I went back to regular high school the following school year in Pinole closer to wear I lived in Hercules. After my parents divorced I moved with my mom to Vallejo and she wanted me to go back to the school in Benicia but I was now in my Junior year and was behind in credits. We found Liberty “continuation” High School. This is where I would run into Daniel again. I was getting registered to start and all the guys came to peak who the new girl was. I could hear a familiar voice yell out “I know that girl!” I started driving a friend home from Benicia to Vallejo since we both lived there. He would often come along for the ride and that’s how we started hanging out. We would drink at the waterfront and just talk. In one specific conversation we talked about when we would have kids. He told me no matter what the kids would go to him. I couldn’t help ask, why do you automatically think you wouldn’t stay with the person who would have your children? Soon enough we became an official couple. I wished I could remember the details of this day. What I do remember is that we just agreed we were officially going out.
My mom started to let me spend the night at his house and he was able to spend the night at mine. Crazy to think because we were only sixteen years old. She didn’t even remember allowing this. She was newly divorced going through her own thing. I don’t blame her I think she knew I would’ve done it anyway. My mother in law will always tell the story about that first day Daniel asked if I could spend the night. She asked, “Are you sure your mom is okay with this?” I responded, “yeah she’s in the car, do you want to talk to her?” I loved seeing how Daniel was with his family. Being the oldest brother he helped care for his three siblings as his mom was a working single mother who dealt with chronic illness as well. I lived in this huge house just me, my brother and mom. Barely seeing one another but when I went to his much smaller home where they were always together. I loved that feeling of family closeness.
Daniel was the first serious relationship I have had and he can say the same too. When I say this, we fell in love fast. I knew this for sure when we got into a car accident together. I was late to work and asked Daniel to drive me so I could eat. I took off my seat belt to be more comfortable. I remember it clearly with me and my girlfriend, by Tupac was playing. We were coming to a stop at a intersection when the car in front of us broke quickly to a stop light creating a ricochet effect with several cars behind us. I almost flew out the car. Literally my face was imprinted in the window. I still have a scars on my face till this day. It wasn’t a pleasant sight as I had cuts all over my face and looked horific at the time. He could’ve took off in fear. However he made sure an ambulance was called and even came home with me and helped nurse me back to health. It’s crazy to think this is what he would be doing in our marriage today.
We were still young and often partied with each other. I could remember thinking this won’t last if this is what we’ll be doing together. We were still going to Liberty and they often counseled us. I was already changing, wanting different and falling deeper in love with Daniel. One evening something happened to Daniel that made him want to quit everything and he did it cold turkey. I was there during the withdrawals as I knew that struggle all so well. When you see the letter above that I wrote on our first anniversary. We have already experienced a lot together in a short time. We have lived this way for all of our teen years and it was getting us nowhere. So together we decided to change our lives around and really focus on getting better and being better. Daniel started to participate in a youth group at Saint Basil’s church where we would later be married at. I was ready to fully be devoted in my faith and church too.
A year and a half later our first son was born. My mom and brother was moving to L.A. and I wanted to be with Daniel and start our family life together. Nothing came easy. We had to work hard to graduate High School. It took a lot of support from the family. We became doers and started to give back whatever may have been lost. With our new son we had a clearer vision for the future. Something that was always a fog to think that far. Here was this little person created from our change and our love story. We knew his life would be different as long as we stayed on track. I knew God blessed us for every effort we were making. Learning a new way opened so many doors. Everything that was already in us started to flourish. We thought we’ve gone through a lot but that was just the beginning. The rest is our history… Nineteen years together, married for fifteen… Not bad for a couple of teens that were supposed to not amount to anything.