I Believe a Change Would Do You Good

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The summer of 2004 was perhaps the best and worst of my life.

It’s still crazy to think about the rapid succession of events. On May 9, Mr. V and I graduated from The University of Richmond. (And no, our mascot is not Spiderman, as I was asked last night upon sporting my beloved and holey Richmond sweatshirt. It’s the Spiders!)

On May 10, we drove to Nashville to try to find an apartment for after our wedding. We knew nothing about Nashville, and I think we visited a grand total of four apartments. We decided on the biggest one we could get for what we had money-wise. Which, of course, was entirely dependent on me actually finding work in Nashville with my English degree.

On May 11, my daddy’s best friend, Donnie, died of liver cancer back in Richmond. He had only been diagnosed in November and it really rocked our world. Our family was heartbroken and there I was, stuck 10 hours away. Mr. V and I signed a lease that day and came home the next. (Also, my long-time bad feeling I get when I go into an O’Charley’s stems from this summer.)

We went back to Richmond. Mr. V went back to his family in PA. I went to a viewing and a funeral. Then my family went to Myrtle Beach, a pre-planned vacation that gave us time to reflect on the last week. We left straight from the cemetery. Mostly I remember cooking with my sister in the little beach condo we rented.

I spent a month working as a secretary for a bankruptcy lawyer later that summer. What an experience! I quickly learned the difference between chapters 7 and 13 and that I never wanted to have to file either.

The rest of the summer was spent planning my nuptials, obsessing over flower colors and hand-stamping a hundred homemade bulletins while my sister calligraphed our names and the date on them.


On July 31, I married my Mr. V. We left for our honeymoon on August 2, a blissful week at the El Dorado Royale in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I believe we returned on August 9. On August 10 we went to Busch Gardens with my dad and sister despite the fact that we were both suffering from severe Montezuma’s revenge. (Isn’t it SO romantic to spend the last night of your honeymoon at a restaurant by yourself while your new husband throws up in the lovely cabana bathroom?) On August 11, we moved to Nashville.

In the next few weeks, Mr. V started grad school, I found work at a day-care, I got a severe UTI that turned into a kidney infection, we discovered our beloved Nashville church, and we learned how to live together. We also almost killed each other during the painting of our living room.

I remember the summer like a giant vat of change, bubbling around together until it created something: our new life. Our marriage. Six years later, some of it seems like a dream. Some of it still hurts. I still miss my mommy.

But I’m glad we went through it together.

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6 thoughts on “I Believe a Change Would Do You Good

  1. Sounds like my summer of 04. We graduated in May (me from law school, my husband from undergrad), moved twice, got married, took a quickie 2 day honeymoon at the Opryland hotel before going to DC so my husband could start his apprenticeship, and was in my best friends wedding two days before taking the bar exam. All while trying to survive in DC on the money we got as gifts from out wedding and learning to live together and be husband and wife. It was a crazy summer.

  2. It's fun to look back and remember the early days of marriage. Gosh, I was a BABY at 18. (What was I thinking?) But here I am 16 years later…
    Your post took me back. Thanks.

  3. I still miss you too. Before you went away to college you were my best friend. I'd say the summer of 2000 was one of the worst for me. I suddenly realized that you were indeed grown and leaving me. How could the sweet girl who made me a mommy be leaving me to go off to college? How could that very wonderful part of my life be over? Looking back on you moving on I can see God's hand in it so clearly but at the time I was heartbroken. I wanted to scream, "Don't leave me behind. Don't forget me!!!"

    I know you haven't forgotten me and I've figured things out – like I need to focus more on my husband and get back to that relationship which I admittedly let slide when you and Roo were growing up.

    I'm so blessed to have both my girls be wonderful women. I must have done something right. Maybe it was the praying, maybe it was your dad, maybe it was God…maybe I only had a very small part in it. Whatever part I had I'll claim. Now I get to be Nana and it is such a joy. I'm praying (really hard) for a move so I will be closer but even if it doesn't happen I know Libbie has the best mommy for her and she'll be great just like you!

  4. I'm sitting here thinking about my most recent 12 months. What a whirlwind God sends us sometimes, and then gives us the strength to get through it. I loved both your post, Jessie, and your mom's response. Pray for our family as we enter into another grieving time.

  5. Oh, I love this!! I am often very scared of change, but when you really have to rely on your spouse, you form an awesome bond!

    I never really knew how much I loved my husband until we went through our first daughter's premature birth. Hard, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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