It was a meeting ordained by God. I believe that completely. On April 30, 1989, my good friends Mark and Bob Webber -- twins who had grown up with the former Julie Young and attended school with her in Canby, Ore. -- hauled me to their friend's house to meet her. I was just finishing my sophomore year at the University of Portland, but the track season was continuing and the Webbers and I were training together. I was staying with them at their home in Canby, heading up to school during the day for workouts, and in the evenings we would make the rounds of town meeting their friends. All of whom happened to be young women. Go figure.
The night I met Julie in her living room she was 8 months pregnant. Her former boyfriend was long gone and she was living with her parents. I distinctly remember thinking something along the lines of, "Wow. She looks really good for 8 months pregnant." (Yes, it's true. I kept her pregnant pretty much since then, eh?) We had a great time together that night and spent a lot of the evening laughing. Two hours after we left late that night, Julie went into labor. The next day she had Brenton by C-section. The Webbers and I drove up to the hospital to see her and her new baby and of the three of us, I was the only one to hold Brenton. I've always liked babies. Still do it would seem. I think perhaps that must have made an impression on Julie.
Over the next couple of weeks as I stuck around Canby to finish out the track season, I managed to trick Mark or Bob into visiting Julie. One time we were at a park playing tennis and I said, "Doesn't Julie Young live around here?" In a matter of minutes we were paying her and Brenton a visit. Over the summer I would write her letters and managed to drive the 3 hours to her house from Bend for visits. It was within a few months of meeting that I confided to a friend I was going to marry her. He thought I was loony. To get to the point, exactly 16 months after Brenton was born -- Sept. 1, 1990 -- we were married at a church around the corner from her house.
I am forever indebted to Mark and Bob for introducing me to the young woman who captured my heart. And I am still so in love today. I admire my wife so much. Her beauty, her patience, her love, her perseverance, her faith, her strength. She has what I would call a pure relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, an active faith and pursuit that defines who she is and will be. It's a part of Julie that attracts me to her. One of many things. I love her laugh. From the beginning that's always something I loved about her. Hearing her laugh makes me believe that no matter what's going on around us, all is right in the world. She makes beautiful babies. I always say my children have their mama's good looks. The other day she had her hair pulled back and I don't know how to explain it but there's something about when she wears her like that ... it makes me a little crazy for her. Heh-heh.
We've had some hard times. I've lost count of many houses we've lived in and how many moves we've made. She's followed me across the country and back, with all sorts of kids in tow, more than once. She's endured difficult pregnancies, hard births and miscarriages (I wrote about one here: 12kidsandcounting.blogspot.com/2010/01/stay-with-me.html) and managed to survive a knucklehead husband. I've said some hurtful things over the years and those I regret deeply. I've spent too much time being selfish and not enough time giving her the time to pursue creative outlets. I want that to change. I could go on but what I really want to say is that it makes me smile to think about spending another 25 years with my beautiful, loving and forever patient and kind bride. I love you Julie!