Ten Years Ago Today

On this day back in 2005, I was standing by a small pond at Emricson Park in Woodstock, Illinois, wearing a white button-down shirt, a purple tie, slacks, and sunglasses. My stepson, Jake, was standing next to me and wearing the same thing.

My stepdaughter, Ashlee, was standing with Tammy as we were all nervously waiting for the “preacher” we found in the classifieds to show up.

On Saturday, April 16, 2005, Tammy and I got married.

JWo_TWo_WeddingJake served as my best man and Ashlee was the maid of honor. It was just the four of us — five counting the preacher-lady — standing in the grass, listening to the preacher recite the marriage vows.

JWo_TWo_Jake_AshleeTWo_AshleeWhen it was over, there was no big party, no champagne toasts, no garter toss, and no cans strung from the back of my Jeep.

JWo_TWo_smile2In fact, the four of us lingered in the park a little, while Ashlee and I snapped pictures that would be developed later. We played on the swings and enjoyed the perfectly warm weather, which can be hit-or-miss for Chicagoland during that time of the year.

Tammy and I didn’t disappear to the Caribbean for a week. Instead, we went back to the house and had our first dance in the living room while Jake and Ashlee watched.

Ten years ago today, our wedding was simple, much like our lives. Neither of us really get much into celebrating our anniversary — I once had to dig our wedding license out of the safe to find the day… and year — but since this is a “milestone” one I decided to reminisce.

Wommacks_SandSo much has changed over the past 10 years. I don’t say that to imply the past 10 years have been bad, just that things aren’t as simple. I was unemployed for a year before we moved from Illinois to Memphis — we’ve now moved three times in the past 2+ years. While I’m closer to my family now, Tammy’s is 9+ hours away. The kids, who were once such big parts or our lives, aren’t around anymore.

Being a Pappaw with my granddaughter, Brooklynn.

Being a Pappaw with my granddaughter, Brooklynn.

Jake lives in Kentucky, and while he’s still closer than if we lived in Chicagoland, he’s still about seven hours away.

Ashlee lives in South Carolina with her husband, Billy, and our beautiful granddaughter, Brooklynn. Visiting them there is an 11-hour drive, which will seem like a drop in the bucket come June when they are re-stationed to an Army base south of Seattle, a 35-hour drive away. I haven’t been able to spend as much Pappaw time with Brooklynn as I would have liked.

We both miss being able to spend time with them, whether it was just watching TV or sitting around the table talking and laughing about things. Visits with them now happen only a few times a year… things just aren’t as simple.

IMG_0339The last 10 years have been filled with tons of memories, some good, others bad. There are times I could have been a better husband, and I’m so very thankful that Tammy didn’t give up on me.

I couldn’t have blamed her for giving up on me — multiple times — but she hasn’t and I’ll never be able to thank her enough. She has shown me what love is. It opened my eyes and changed my life… for the better.

JWo_TammyBy no means have I been perfect and while I have several regrets over the past 10 years, marrying you is not one of them.

We’ve both been through a lot during the past 10 years, but I can honestly say I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you and the kids in it.

Thank you for putting up with me. I will do everything I can to make the next 10 years simpler for us.

I love you.

I know it may not seem like it sometimes, but “please try and see, that you get the best of me.”

I can’t sing like Marvin Gaye, no
I can’t play that grand piano
I never was at the top of my class
I never threw no touchdown pass
I ain’t got much past to stand on
Cuz I never planned on getting my hands on
No kind of cash or a woman like you
That could last the whole life through
But now that you’re here, it seems so clear

Now I ain’t got no southern mansion
And I ain’t much good at slow dancing
I never swam the English Channel
And people they say I’m hard to handle
Cuz I’m like a candle in the wind
But where you end is where I begin
And I never win cuz I’m good at losing
And thank the Lord I’m good at choosing
Cuz now that you’re here, it seems so clear

When the lights go down and the music plays
I feel like a king that could sing for days
I know sometimes that we don’t always agree
They scream for more and the more I give
It takes a toll on the way we live
Please forgive me baby and try and see
Yeah try and see
Please try and see
That you get the best of me

Now I didn’t make no reservations
And I didn’t plan no great vacation
Cuz I’ve been chasing rain drops falling
Running from love when it keeps calling
And I know you think I’m just playing the field
But let me show you girl what’s real
Cuz I’m all in like a crazy gambler
And though I don’t have all the answers
Now that you’re here, it seems so clear

When the lights go down and the music plays
I feel like a king that could sing for days
I know sometimes that we don’t always agree
They scream for more and the more I give
It takes a toll on the life we live
Please forgive me baby and try and see
Yeah try and see
Please try and see
That you get the best of me

When the lights go down and the music plays
I feel like a king that could sing for days
I know sometimes that we don’t always agree
They scream for more and the more I give
It takes a toll on the life we live
Please forgive me baby and try and see
Yeah try and see
Please try and see
That you get the best of me
Best of me
Best of me
You get the best of me
Best of me
Best of me
You get the best of me
You get the best of me

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5 Responses to Ten Years Ago Today

  1. Anonymous says:

    Happy Anniversary to two very awesome people. 🙂

  2. WT—-? I know I typed everything in correctly. Again, Happy 10th Anniversary, Tammy and Jason!

  3. tupelotina says:

    Happy Anniversary! Such a sweet post!

  4. This was really beautiful and made me want to cry! Happy Anniversary!! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Full Disclosure: 6 Months Later | The Life of J-Wo

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