Friday, March 23, 2012

Little bits of memory

Family Photos, November 2011

I can still remember the beginning. That nervous anticipation during those first few long drives to visit Hank, my hands tapping on the steering wheel, my eyes in the rear view mirror checking and rechecking to see if I still looked alright. It was the beginning of our relationship and we lived two and a half hours apart, so I would often find myself making the trek from Phoenix, up the I-17 and into the mountains. That very first drive up is still so fresh in my mind; the Jets to Brazil I had on the stereo, my cracked window, the fresh August air that evening, and me, trying to relax when I was so, so nervous. It almost seemed too good to be true- everything was falling slowly into place, somehow. And then, after talking for hours and hours every night for weeks, writing so many letters back and forth, and finally going on our first date, Hank had invited me up to visit him in his little town. 

It's strange to go back to the beginning of us. It will be eight years this summer and parts of it seem so far away, and yet other moments I can remember in such crisp detail. If I think back I can still see Hank's first date outfit- his jeans, his American Nightmare hoodie, those Vans. I can immediately recall a handful of mornings waking up with him to the Weakerthans he set for our alarm, tangled blankets and tattooed limbs. I can remember the night Hank asked me to marry him, the way the stars shined so, so brightly in that clear February night, the way my breath blew out like smoke and our voices echoed in the empty square. I think back to our first apartment, the smell of new paint and cardboard boxes, and our second, the smell of fresh cut grass through the open windows. I can go back to our wedding day and remember looking down the aisle at Hank through the yellow and the white and all of our family and friends, all the way to the very end, to him waiting there for me. And I can see him when Henry was born, joy filling every corner of his face.

Memories are funny things. They change over time, they shift, they adapt. We keep what we want, small segments of our days, and the rest dissipates into a hazy fog. I hold tight to the things I want to remember- I take a second and try to capture it, all of it. My memories often feel so cloudy, floating in my mind, but then I'll be reminded of something, and one crystal clear moment will bob to the top, up and down, little bits and pieces becoming more clear.  With Hank I have eight years of these memories, good times and bad, trips and vacations and so much togetherness. My life has a distinct marker, a before and an after, and it's amazing to think about everywhere we've been, and to imagine everywhere we're going. And sometimes, when the weather is just right, I can crack my window, turn up the music, and I'm right back there again, 21-years-old at the very beginning.

49 comments:

  1. beautifully written...thank you for sharing. :)

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  2. Very beautiful. I spend a lot of time with my memories, especially when driving. It's so interesting how some memories mark us and our hearts more than others, even the little seemingly inconsequential memories.

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  3. You are such a sweet writer, everything you say is so sweet!
    So good that you have all of these great memories to look back on :)
    Amy xo

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  4. This is probably the nicest thing I have ever read! Makes me believe in true love
    xo

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  5. This post is beautiful, you are one lucky lady and such a good writer xxxx

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  6. I loved reading this post. Happy almost eight years!

    Gabriella

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  7. This is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read! xx

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  8. this is so sweet. You're lucky to have found a man like Hank.

    oh, and as for two posts ago - I've been obsessed with Make It Or Break It since the pilot :p But I was a gymnast, so I like to pretend like I have a free pass on that one ;)

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  9. beautiful post. I really love reading your blog. happy almost 8 years. xx

    http://dandelionsandkisses.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. This is so beautiful. I probably shouldn't read these kind of posts when I'm PMSing and super emotional.
    :)

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  11. And...I cried. I was reflecting on Marc and I last night. It will be 5 years this summer.

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  12. this is so beautiful. i want to experience this one day, but at 20, i think i have a little bit of time still. :)

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  13. Memories are strange things. They change and bend throughout the years. Our perception of the memory becomes the reality. Its bizarre but it's ok. Over the years the aspects of the memory that remain become glorified... and that's beautiful.

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  14. This is beautiful - and so well written in the way it triggers those same memories in everyone who reads it!

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  15. Danielle, this is just beautiful. Thanks for this reminder to remember the little things :)

    thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

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  16. Memories really are a funny thing. I love how they change + adapt over time. I also like how sometimes I remember thing + details I have forgotten about but suddenly remember. It's almost like a little present. :) PS I love this post!!

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  17. that was really sweet. good way to start this day. xo!

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  18. Beautifully written Danielle :) I loved "tangled blankets and tattooed limbs". I was just thinking this morning that I wished my husband + I had met sooner + how much joy he brings to my life :) Love is a wonderful thing. ♥Lindsay

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  19. Beautiful Danielle.. you made me all teary eyed!<3

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  20. I love this post. Going back to memory lane is something that I am fond of doing especially when I reminisce with Glenn. It's just a wonderful feeling to look back at everything we've been through, both the good and the bad and learn from them. Those are actually what made us stronger today. :-)

    Have a lovely weekend!

    xoxo
    Ida

    http://asplashofida.blogspot.com

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  21. This is just lovely. No wonder you became and English teacher. Write a book?

    I love the little things like a certain smell or the line from a song that send you back years and years. No one can ever take those memories away. Happy 8 years to the both of you! And here'a to new memories!

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  22. This is the sweetest! You are a fabulous writer. xo, rv

    http://aneclecticheap.blogspot.com/

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  23. This was an amazing post. So sweet and heartfelt, you could totally be a romance writer ;)

    xo
    http://kittysnooks.blogspot.ca/

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  24. This was the loveliest post.

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  25. you are lovely, chica.....wonderful post. hanks a lucky feller!

    (IT'S FRIDAY!!!)

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  26. Beautiful.

    Your family is so darling.

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  27. This is beautiful. I wish I could write like that. I adore your guys' relationship so much.

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  28. P.S. Your post inspired me to get personal on my blog + write this post: http://dailydoily.typepad.com/peaceloveandcupcakes/2012/03/i-was-reading-zacsbirthday-card-to-mefromlast-year-one-of-my-favorite-things-hes-written-me-was-my-only-regret-is-that-we-di.html :)

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  29. what a lovely story ♥
    and I like your taste in music (my husband also is /was a big AN fan and has the hoodie, I always steal it from him)

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  30. Oh,Danielle. I love your writing. My husband and I have been married since last March and together since 2005. :)

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  31. Dani, this was a beautiful post. I felt like I was watching a romantic movie. :) You have a beautiful little family.

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  32. Tears! Such a beautiful post.

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  33. that's so sweet, such a darling post.
    I still remember when me and daughters' father got together. We were 17 and 19 so it wasn't quite as romantic but I'm proud we managed to last 7 years and still remain good friends to this day.

    I remember the first day I met my recent boyfriend though. We live 2 hours awya from each other and first met in october 2010. we had been talking for a month and he was driving up to see me. Those two hours where I knew he was driving up was so nerve wracking.. Part of me was thinking "Oh gosh is this too soon? what if we don't click? what if he doesn't find me attractive? what if, what if, what if?!" he came to my door with flowers and dashing smile, wearing his green abercrombie and fitch tshirt and dark blue jeans... ahh memories :)

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  34. Beautiful. My fave post of yours. <3

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  35. You are amazing with words.
    xx

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  36. Aw, I loved this. Makes me want to grab Mark and hold on for a while longer.
    Thanks for this

    Louise xo

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  37. I often find myself reminiscing about the beginning of my relationship with Jordan -- all the long drives, the moment he told me he loved me, all the little intricacies of how we came to be where we are. Glad to know I'm not the only one who likes to take moments out of her day to reflect on and be thankful for the journey. :)

    Side note: I'm it was also in a hot car with the windows down on the I-17 where I first heard Orange Rhyming Dictionary. It could've been on a set of headphones over a latte at the Willow House, too... memory doesn't serve me well when it comes to that, I guess. But anyway, your blog makes me miss Phoenix just a little.

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  38. This was so lovely to read. Fills me with happy.
    xx. Jillian

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  39. I love memories for that reason--they're so fun to go back to and re-live. That opening photo is lovely!

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  40. a beautifully written post. It has been seven years since I met M. Three were long distance.. as in continents apart and four of marriage.. and I know what you mean when you say a before and an after. It feels like forever but the seven years makes us think really? that long? And the before is just a blur now..
    Here's to many more decades of love and togetherness

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  41. So lovely. Thank you for sharing Dani. Really, this made my morning so much sweeter.

    Kacie

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  42. You two are perfect for each other. Always have been. Always will be. Beautiful post.

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  43. this is one of the very best blog posts i've ever read. just thought you should know. :)

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